Facebook, Inc. Common Stock (NASDAQ:FB) has announced that advertisers who want to run ads on hot-button political matter will have to seek authorization first. The social network hopes that this move will curb the spread of false information across its platform.
In a blog on Friday, the social media giant announced that it will work with third parties to develop a list of key issues that it will update from time to time.
Ina separate incident, consumer groups on Friday filed complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, accusing Facebook of violating users’ privacy rights through the facial-recognition feature.
In late 2017, Facebook introduced a similar authorization requirement targeting ads that are related to election. The latest will mainly cover “issue ads”. This will involve ads that make direct reference to the candidate but will weigh in on any divisive issue. Facebook will require such advertiser to verify their locations and identities.
The new move is the lasted step taken by the company in an effort to protect its platform following reports that Russian-backed groups used the social media to cultivate divisions before and after the 2016 U.S. presidential election and many other places around the world.
Some of the ads released on Facebook by U.S. lawmakers last year have showed operatives linked to Russia used Facebook to buy ads to cause tensions on several issues ranging from gun right and race plus ads touching on the U.S presidential election.
Facebook now says beginning this spring, all ads that are related to elections will bear a “Political Add” label, together with information about the advertisers who sponsored them. Facebook has said that in June, it will make a searchable archive of all ads that have this label accessible to the public. This will also include information on the amount of money that the advertiser spent as well as the target audience.
Political ads on social media and digital platforms are not mandated to meet some disclosure requirements as the case with traditional media like radio and television stations, which are required to publicly disclose all campaign ads which they run.