Facebook to tighten political ad rules for 2019 elections

Updated January 17, 2019

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In the US, Britain and Brazil political advertisers must confirm identity, location before they can run Facebook ads. — File
In the US, Britain and Brazil political advertisers must confirm identity, location before they can run Facebook ads. — File

PARIS: Facebook said on Tuesday it will tighten rules for political ads in countries with elections scheduled in the first half of the year, building on transparency efforts already underway in the United States, Britain and Brazil after a series of scandals.

“As we prepare for major elections around the world this year, we’re continuing our focus on preventing foreign interference and giving people more information about the ads they see across our platforms,” the social media giant said in a post on its Business page.

In the US, Britain and Brazil political advertisers must confirm their identity and location before they can run Facebook ads, which are also housed in a public, searchable library for up to seven years. “By shining a light on political ads, news organisations, regulators, watchdog groups and people anywhere in the world can hold advertisers and us more accountable,” it said.

For upcoming elections in Nigeria and Ukraine no foreign electoral ads will be accepted, Facebook said. In India, the network will launch an Ad Library and enforce authorisations before spring elections, it said. In the EU, it is to roll out “transparency tools” in the runup to European Parliament elections in May.

By the end of June, Facebook said it would provide a set of these tools to advertisers around the world.

Published in Dawn, January 17th, 2019