As the 2020 elections draw closer in the US, Facebook is taking steps to make up for the mistakes it made in and around 2016’s elections.
Today the firm announced a few more changes it would be making to prevent (or at least throw up a few more barriers) foreign entities from using Facebook as an election interference medium.
“Starting mid-September, advertisers will need to provide more information about their organization before we review and approve their disclaimer.” Facebook explained on Wednesday, “If they do not provide this information by mid-October, we will pause their ads. While the authorization process won’t be perfect, it will help us confirm the legitimacy of an organization and provide people with more details about who’s behind the ads they are seeing.”
This means that any ads purporting to be run by an organisation would have to send identifying information to Facebook so both the firm and viewers are aware of who is paying for the ad. This also ensures the information has a higher chance of being accurate if the organisations produce an FEC id, .gov domain, or a tax-registered organisation identification number.
The firm will also be changing its policies around ads which target social issues, at least in the US. The firm will be stream ling its coverage to 10 categories. Ads which target these 10 broad categories will be more proactively vetted.
“For instance, in the Civil and Social Rights category, we will continue to proactively detect and review ads on topics like freedom of religion, LGBTQ rights and women’s rights.” the firm explained.
Facebook says it’ll be making more changes to the platform over the next few months. It will prohibit voter suppression ads, ensure that pages for candidates or elected officials turn on 2fa and verify their location as well as showcase information about pages such as who runs them and where from.