Facebook tightens verification rules for political or hot topic advertising

Facebook now requires advertisers trying to purchase political adverts on hotly debated topics to verify their identity as well as location. The company is jumping ahead of the upcoming implementation of the Honest Ads Act which has been proposed by the government to regulate social media advertising and avoid fake news as well as election interference.

Pages that turn out to be fraudulent or may be working to influence foreign elections will be blocked from posting ads or news.

Although the company announced back in October that it would seek identification from election advertisers, the latest implementations will apply to a much wider range of topics and advertisers. The network thus is also targeting fraudulent ads and fake news stories.

The move follows sharp criticism of Facebook after advertising and consumer data abuse scandals have piled up over the last two years.

The social network is also looking to clearly label political ads with “Political Ad” or “Paid for by” tags. Facebook users may report ads which are missing these labels. In addition, the company will clearly mark Pages that have recently changed their name in order to highlight any deceptive moves.

Political adverts will remain searchable for four years on Facebook as part of the creation of an archive.

The measures have already been implemented in the US.

Although Zuckerberg admits that the measures won’t stop people from trying to cheat the system, they may make it a lot more difficult.

Competitor Twitter launched similar labelling measures in November 2017.

Although Facebook’s self-regulation may come at a critical time, many will still question why they company didn’t implement such measures way earlier.