Facebook Clamps Down on Political Ad Buyers Ahead of the 2020 POTUS Election

by Chris White


Facebook announced Wednesday a policy requiring people and groups who buy ads promoting issues or political candidates to provide more information about who is responsible for paying for them.

The Silicon Valley company’s decision came after several high-profile examples of governments placing misleading disclaimers on ads, which critics said undermines Facebook’s desire to be transparent about spending on its platform. Facebook already requires companies to disclose their identities, but Wednesday’s move adds additional requirements.

The social media giant will require buyers to include information about who is funding the ads in September. Businesses can submit their tax-identification number, or campaigns will have to share their registration data from the Federal Election Commission to confirm the ad buy.

“We’re trying to do as much as Facebook can do,” said Katie Harbath, a public policy director at Facebook, according to The Washington Post.

Facebook will not make organizations submit more detailed information about their donors, WaPo reported. Harbath cited legal regulations as requirements to force advocacy groups to provide these details.

Much of Facebook’s policy changes recently come as the company seeks to address concerns related to Russia’s behavior after the 2016 election.

Reports from January, for instance, show Russia might be using its state-run media to create fake posts that appear to emanate from real newsrooms elsewhere. The company dinged 364 pages and accounts from the Baltics, central Asia, the Caucasus and other countries in central and Eastern Europe.

The groups responsible for the pages also spent $135,000 on ads, which were paid for in euros, rubles and U.S. dollars. Facebook also said it nixed pages from a separate campaign originating from Russia and Ukraine. The company removed 26 pages, 77 accounts and four groups on the platform, in addition to 41 accounts on Instagram, according to its website.

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Chris White is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Facebook Sign” by Minette Lontsie. CC BY-SA 4.0.






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