Facebook releases its USA political ad archive

Lester Mason
May 25, 2018

Users from around the world can also use this archive browse any of the political ads that are now running in the US, and even go into the archives and revisit some of the ads any advertiser bought in the past.

"We believe that increased transparency will lead to increased accountability and responsibility over time - not just for Facebook but advertisers as well".

Facebook's new policy, which goes into effect today amid political and financial pressures, is a work in progress, company officials acknowledge. Now come the changes to policies and practice.

Going forward, the company says all election-related and issue ads on Facebook and Instagram in the USA will be required to be clearly labelled with a "Paid for by" disclosure at the top of the ad.

In a blog post, the company noted that there would also be a special type of identifying badge for promoted content from these certified advertisers in the future.

Twitter handles will be under strict scrutiny as well. The company said it will be checking to make sure each handle's profile photo, header photo, and website are consistent with its online presence and the bio must include a website that provides valid contact information.

Advertisers placing a political ad or an "issue ad" on Facebook in the US will have to verify their identity and location through a newly-created process.

Another tool being implemented by Facebook is a label included in ads that a user may click on to find out who paid for it, the cost, and the demographics of who viewed it.

The new rules are the latest efforts from the social media platforms to be more transparent ahead of the US midterm elections after the Federal Bureau of Investigation found that Russians used Facebook ads in their attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election.

During a call with reporters on Thursday, Facebook's global politics and government outreach director, Katie Harbath, added, "Our intent is trying to help people understand who is trying to influence them on political and social issues, and why".

"But to have a policy that our reviewers can enforce, they need a list explaining what's OK and what's not". Facebook said it is investing in more workers and technology to identify potential abuse. The topics listed range from abortion, crime, economy and the environment to foreign policy and terrorism.

"In addition, we will not allow foreign nationals to target political ads to people who are identified as being in the U.S.", Twitter said in a statement released Thursday. "We are focused on efforts going forward to election integrity". In a blog post about the archive, Facebook staffers wrote that, in the case of education, one of the 20 topics deemed to be an "issue ad", the only ads that would be labeled would be "those trying to achieve a political goal, for example, education reform or a new student loan policy, not ads for a university or scholarship".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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