Facebook and Twitter tighten political ads rules

Facebook and Twitter have updated their rules regarding political advertisements on the platforms starting with the US with the intention of preventing issues that cropped up during recent US elections.

Facebook has begun labeling all political and issue ads, including a “Paid for by” disclosure from the advertiser at the top of the advertisement. Advertisers who wish to run their ads with political content in the US on Facebook will also need to verify their identity and location, the social media giant said in a blog post late Thursday. Twitter on the other hand is asking advertisers who wish to target the US with political campaigning ads to file for certification and adhere to fresh rules.

Through these changes the social media giant and microblogging platform intend to prevent a situation like the 2016 US presidential election when Russian advertisers created fake posts and bought ads to interfere in the election process.

According to details revealed by Facebook when a user clicks on the label on an ad, they will be taken to an archive with more information wherein they will be provided details about campaign budget, how many people saw it, their age, location and gender.

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”. Such reported ads will be reviewed by Facebook and if it finds that it indeed falls under Political Advertising policy, the social media giant will take it down and add it to the archive. The advertiser will then be banned from running ads with political content until they complete Facebook’s authorisation process.

Twitter said that in addition to its Ads policies, “all political advertisers must comply with applicable laws regarding disclosure and content requirements, eligibility restrictions, and blackout dates for the countries where they advertise”. The policy applies to ads purchased by a political committee or candidate registered with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) or ads advocating for or against a clearly identified candidate for Federal office in the US.

Foreign nationals are prohibited from targeting political campaigning advertisements to the US, Twitter said.

The Twitter handle associated with the certified ads account must provide profile photo, header photo and the website must be consistent with the Twitter handle`s online presence.

“Bio must include a website that provides valid contact info. If the handle name is not related to the certified entity, the bio must include the following disclaimer: `Owned by (certified entity name)`,” said Twitter.

About Erica Smith

With majors in industrial finance, Erica took to journalism because of her interest in writing. Having keen interest in medical industry as well, Erica has a unique perspective on the health industries.

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