Facebook unveils new transparency rules for political ads in India

facebook_indian-politics

Source: Times of India

NEW DELHI: Ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, Facebook on Thursday announced changes to the way political ads appear on its platform. As per the changes, the social media users will now be able to see the political ads with “Published by” or “Paid for by” disclaimers that have been specified by advertisers.

Facebook is also working on an Ad Library where users can learn more about ads related to politics, including a range of impressions and spend and demographics of who saw the ad.

In the coming weeks, people will start seeing the country locations of the people managing Pages that run political ads to better understand the origin of the Page, the social media giant said.

The Ad Library archives political ads for up to seven years and is available to anyone, regardless of whether they are logged into Facebook or not at facebook.com/ads/archive.

In March, India is likely to have its own Ad Library Report, which helps more easily view insights about the ads in the library.

The enforcement of these features will begin by February 21, Facebook said in a post. The post was written by Shivnath Thukral, public policy director, India and Sarah Schiff, product manager.

Political ads already running in newsfeed without a disclaimer will be placed in the Ads Library. “Our systems won’t catch every political ad that runs — so reports from others will be key. If people come across an ad and think it should include a disclaimer, they can tap the three dots at the top right-hand corner of the ad, and select “Report ad.” If we find the ad relates to politics, we’ll remove it and add it to the Library, where it will be accessible for seven years,” the post said.

Facebook also plans to provide users with more information about the Pages running these ads. As part of the initiative, users will be able to see the primary country location of the people who manage Pages running or paying for political ads in India.

This information can be found in the Page’s “Info and Ads” section, along with all the ads the Page is currently running, even if they’re not targeted to you.

Steps will also be taken to make it harder for people to administer a Page in India using a fake or compromised account, Facebook said.

In the coming weeks, people who manage Pages with a large audience in India will need to secure their account with two-factor authentication and confirm their primary country location to be able to continue to post to their Pages.

“Protecting the integrity of elections is a top priority for Facebook. By bringing more transparency to political ads and Pages on Facebook, we hope to increase accountability for advertisers and help people assess the content they’re seeing,” Shivnath Thukral told TOI.

“In addition to product and policy changes, we’re investing heavily in more people and better technology to proactively identify abuse. We believe this will drive greater authenticity and responsibility over time – not just for Facebook but for advertisers as well,” he added.

India is the fourth country where Facebook is rolling out these transparency rules after the US, UK and Brazil.

The social media giant has been under tremendous pressure for misuse of its platform by various political actors across the world, especially in US after allegations of interference by Russian agencies in 2016 presidential elections.



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