Facebook Changes Over 3bn Ads, Pages For Transparency, Accountability
By Olabisi Olaleye and Segun Kasali
In a bid to increase transparency, accountability as well as prevent election interference, Facebook has changed over three billion adverts as well as pages on its platform and Instagram.
Explicating the rationale behind this, Facebook says, “The company knows it is slow to pick-up foreign interference in the 2016 US elections. Today’s updates are designed to prevent future abuse in elections and to help ensure you have the information that you need to assess political and issue ads, as well as content on Pages.
“By increasing transparency around ads and Pages on Facebook, Facebook can increase accountability for advertisers and improving our service for everyone.”
In a signed statement by the duo of Alex Himel, Vice President, Ads and Rob Goldman,VP, Local and Pages “We believe that when you visit a page or see an advert on Facebook, it should be clear who it’s coming from. We also think it’s important for people to be able to see the other ads a page is running, even if they’re not directed at you.
“That’s why today we are announcing important changes to the way we manage adverts and pages on Facebook as well as Instagram. These are designed to increase transparency and accountability, as well as prevent election interference,” they said.
The statement further reiterated that last October, the platform announced that only authorized advertisers will be able to run electoral ads on Facebook or Instagram, but the company is extending that requirement to anyone that wants to show “issue ads” — like political topics that are being debated across the country.
“Facebook is working with third parties to develop a list of key issues, which the company would refine over time. To get authorized by Facebook, advertisers would need to confirm identity and location. Advertisers would be prohibited from running political adverts and electoral or issue-based until they are authorized.
“In addition, these ads would be clearly labeled in the top left corner as ‘Political Ad.’ next to it Facebook would show ‘paid for by’ information. The company started testing the authorization process this week, and people would begin seeing the label and additional information later this spring”.
Facebook also disclosed that it is investing in artificial intelligence and that it has created avenue where people can tap three dots at the top right corner of ad and select ‘Report Ad’.