Facebook to Now Label Political Ads

San Francisco,(IANS) In a fresh bid to prevent foreign interference into elections, Facebook has begun labelling all political and issue ads in the US — including a “Paid for by” disclosure from the advertiser at the top of the advertisement.

Advertisers wanting to run ads with political content in the US will also need to verify their identity and location, the social media giant said in a blog post late Thursday.

“When you click on the label, you’ll be taken to an archive with more information. For example, the campaign budget associated with an individual ad and how many people saw it – including their age, location and gender,” said Rob Leathern, Director of Product Management at Facebook.

The changes have currently been introduced in the US.

If people see an ad which they believe has political content and is not labelled, they can report back to Facebook.

To do so, just tap the three dots at the top right-hand corner of the ad, select “report”, and then “it refers to a political candidate or issue”.

“Facebook will review the ad, and if it falls under our Political Advertising policy, we’ll take it down and add it to the archive,” Leathern wrote.

The advertiser will then be banned from running ads with political content until they complete Facebook’s authorisation process.

“We won’t always get it right. We know we’ll miss some ads and in other cases we’ll identify some we shouldn’t. We’ll keep working on the process and improve as we go,” the company said.

The changes are aimed at preventing a situation like the 2016 US presidential election when Russian advertisers created fake posts and bought ads to interfere in the election process on both Facebook and its photo-sharing platform Instagram.

Facebook said it is working closely with its newly-formed Election Commission and other stakeholders to launch an API for the archive.

“We’re working closely with news partners and are committed to updating the archive to help differentiate between news and non-news content,” the post added.

Medaram Jathara

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