Face­book makes it must for ad­ver­tis­ers to dis­close iden­tity, lo­ca­tion

Financial Chronicle - - PLAN, POLICY - FC BU­REAU

IN a bid to bring trans­parency in po­lit­i­cal ad­ver­tise­ments in the runup to 2019 gen­eral elec­tions, Face­book on Thurs­day made it com­pul­sory for ad­ver­tis­ers to dis­close their iden­tity and lo­ca­tion be­fore any such ad­ver­tise­ment ma­te­rial can be run on the pop­u­lar so­cial me­dia plat­form and In­sta­gram.

Be­gin­ning early next year, Face­book will also start show­ing a dis­claimer on all po­lit­i­cal ad­ver­tise­ments by pro­vid­ing de­tails of those plac­ing the ad­ver­tise­ments.

Also, an ‘on­line search­able ad li­brary’ will be opened to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion like bud­get as­so­ci­ated with an in­di­vid­ual ad­ver­tise­ment and the range of im­pres­sions and de­mo­graph­ics of who viewed the ad­ver­tise­ment, Face­book said in a blog.

In the blog, Face­book said po­lit­i­cal ad­ver­tise­ments will have to be run by an ad­ver­tiser who has com­pleted the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion au­tho­ri­sa­tion process and la­belled with the dis­claimer.

“By au­tho­ris­ing ad­ver­tis­ers and bring­ing more trans­parency to ads, we can bet­ter de­fend against for­eign in­ter­fer­ence in In­dia’s elec­tions,” it said.

Face­book, which has over 200 mil­lion users in In­dia, said it was im­por­tant that peo­ple know more about the ad­ver­tise­ments they see, es­pe­cially those that re­fer to po­lit­i­cal fig­ures, po­lit­i­cal par­ties, elec­tions, and leg­is­la­tion.

“That’s why we’re mak­ing big changes to the way we man­age these ads on Face­book and In­sta­gram. We’ve rolled out these changes in the US, Brazil, and the UK, and next, we’re tak­ing our first steps to­wards bring­ing trans­parency to ads re­lated to pol­i­tics in In­dia,” it said. “This is key as we work hard to pre­vent abuse on Face­book ahead of In­dia’s gen­eral elec­tions next year,” it said.

Ac­cord­ing to Face­book, now any­one who wants to run an ad­ver­tise­ment in In­dia re­lated to pol­i­tics will need to first con­firm their iden­tity and lo­ca­tion, and give more de­tails about who placed the ad­ver­tise­ment.

“The iden­tity and lo­ca­tion con­fir­ma­tion will take a few weeks so ad­ver­tis­ers can start that process to­day by us­ing their mo­bile phones or com­puter to sub­mit proof of iden­tity and lo­ca­tion. This will help avoid de­lays when they run po­lit­i­cal ads next year,” it said.

Early next year, Face­book will start to show a dis­claimer on all po­lit­i­cal ad­ver­tise­ments that pro­vide more in­for­ma­tion about who is plac­ing the ad­ver­tise­ment and an on­line search­able Ad Li­brary for any­one to ac­cess.

“This is a li­brary of all ads re­lated to pol­i­tics from a par­tic­u­lar ad­ver­tiser as well as in­for­ma­tion like the bud­get as­so­ci­ated with an in­di­vid­ual ad, a range of im­pres­sions, as well as the de­mo­graph­ics of who saw the ad,” it said.

Fur­ther, Face­book will be­gin to en­force the pol­icy that re­quires all ad­ver­tise­ments re­lated to pol­i­tics be run by an ad­ver­tiser who has com­pleted the au­tho­ri­sa­tions process and be la­belled with the dis­claimer.

“We will not re­quire el­i­gi­ble news pub­lish­ers to get autho­rised, and we won’t in­clude their ads in the Ad Li­brary,” the blog said. Face­book owns photo-shar­ing plat­form In­sta­gram.

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