NEWS16 October 2018

Facebook to make political ads more transparent

News Public Sector UK

UK – Social network Facebook has introduced labels on political ads so people can see the identity of who has paid for the ads.


Already launched in the US and Brazil, Facebook in the UK will now make it easier for people to access data on campaigns via its Ad Library. If users click on the ‘paid for’ disclaimer label that will now appear alongside any political party messages on Facebook or Instagram, it will take them to the searchable database and show exactly who paid for the content to be promoted.

The information will remain on Facebook for seven years after the first ad has been placed. It can be searched by anyone, not just members of Facebook or Instagram.

The company said it wanted to prevent “bad actors that misuse our platform” so anyone buying a political ad must verify their location and age.

And it admitted that this would not prevent abuse entirely. “We’re up against smart and well-funded adversaries who change their tactics as we spot abuse,” it said in a statement. “But we believe that this higher level of transparency is good for democracy and is good for the electoral process.”

The move comes after criticism of Facebook over ads it carried during the US Presidential election in 2016 and the UK’s EU referendum.

In April, in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook’s chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer, had told the Government select committee that Facebook would make changes. 


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