For a long time now, Facebook has been the social media mogul when it comes to advertising, but it has been in news a lot recently owing to its privacy policies and how they’ve been used to pry upon unsuspecting users, especially considering the kind of advertisements they see. But now there is some positive news coming from them. Facebook has announced changes in the way they manage their ads and pages on Facebook as well as Instagram. These changes are designed to increase transparency and accountability, as well as prevent election interference.
Let’s have a look at what changes are planned by them in coming days,
Increased Transparency and Accountability for Electoral and Issue Ads
Last year, Facebook restricted the use of electoral ads on Facebook and Instagram to only authorized advertisers. Taking it a step forward, they’re planning to extend that requirement to anyone that wants to show “issue ads”, which includes subjects like political topics that are being debated across the country.
To get authorized by Facebook, advertisers will need to confirm their identity and location. Advertisers will be prohibited from running political ads — electoral or issue-based — until they are authorized. In addition, these ads will be clearly labeled in the top left corner as “Political Ad’, thus making them easier to recognize, and probably, avoid.
They are also updating the AI for their “Report” feature so that non-authorized ads don’t get through the process without proper filtration. This is available only in the U.S for now.
View Ads and Searchable Political Archive
In Canada, Facebook has been testing a new feature called view ads that lets the user see the ads a Page is running — even if they are not in their News Feed. This applies to all advertiser Pages on Facebook — not just Pages running political ads. There are also plans to launch archives for these ads. This will contain all ads with the “Political Ad” label and will show the image and text, as well as additional information like the amount spent and demographic audience information for each ad.
Increased Authenticity and Transparency for Pages
It is also planned that people who manage Pages with large numbers of followers will need to be verified. Those who manage large Pages that do not clear the process will no longer be able to post. This will make it much harder for people to administer a Page using a fake account. Facebook will also make additional info about a page appear to its audience.
Reason for Changes
These updates are designed to prevent future abuse in elections. This will also help ensure users have the information that is needed to assess political and issue ads, as well as content on Pages. By increasing transparency around ads and Pages on Facebook, the company is trying to increase accountability for advertisers. In the process, improving their service for everyone. They also don’t want to repeat previous mistakes of U.S 2016 elections.
With these changes, Facebook is trying hard to gather back the lost ground and increase the trust of users on their ads and services, which they’ve lost recently, owing to all the controversies. Let’s see how far they are able to go with their plans this time.
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