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Ganahl claims Facebook censorship, Facebook offers tech support for campaign

Heidi Ganahl claimed the platform is blocking political ads her campaign attempted to run.


Republican gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl claimed Facebook is blocking her campaign ads. Facebook’s parent company said Ganahl’s campaign failed to complete basic steps and offered technical support to resolve the issue.

Ganahl recently echoed conservative talking points about Big Tech censoring her campaign during a September 24 appearance on KNUS radio with talk host Jimmy Sengenberger. 

"We are being blocked by Facebook and Instagram,” Ganahl said. “We aren't allowed to advertise like other campaigns are. It is literally happening right here in Colorado on our campaign.” 

Facebook’s publicly accessible library of paid political ads shows Ganahl’s campaign is advertising on Facebook, but at paltry levels compared to Democratic Governor Jared Polis.  

RELATED: Do negative political ads work?

Ganahl’s Facebook page had $846 in paid advertising between July 27 and October 14, compared to $184,000 in paid advertising by Polis’ Facebook page over the same period, and $80,000 in spending by a page titled “Heidi Ganahl: Extremely Wrong For Colorado.” 

A spokeswoman for Ganahl explained her censorship claim saying that the current ads were placed by a third-party firm hired by the Ganahl campaign after they "had been unsuccessful at getting ads posted through Meta's platform.” 

“We followed Meta's guidelines for ad placement and were repeatedly rejected,” said Ganahl spokeswoman Lexi Swearingen. “We also tried contacting Meta and were unsuccessful.” 

Meta, Facebook’s parent company, said the issue was a simple form that the Ganahl campaign had failed to complete.  

"In this case, additional ads were rejected because the advertiser had not successfully attached a paid-for-by disclaimer, which is required for all political ads in the US,” a Meta spokesperson said. “All the advertiser needs to do is link her disclaimer and submit the ads again.” 

Meta directed the Ganahl campaign to this tech support page explaining the troubleshooting process. 

The organizer of the Ganahl campaign group ‘Ganahl Gals,’ made an additional censorship claim on October 16. 

Ganahl Gals volunteer organizer Rebekah Meurer claimed in an October 16 Facebook post that “Social Media is blocking posts about tonight’s debate.” 

Reached by phone, Meurer declined to provide evidence of her claim that social media was blocking posts about the October 16 debate between Ganahl and Polis. Meurer said she had revealed the evidence in the private Ganahl Gals Facebook group and declined to allow 9NEWS access to the page to see it. 

The Ganahl campaign said Meurer did not speak for the campaign and the campaign did not provide evidence to support Meurer’s claim that debate posts were censored. 

RELATED: Heidi Ganahl declines 9NEWS debate with Gov. Jared Polis over moderator


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