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Political advertisers to verify identity as part of Facebook's new advertising policies

Political advertisers to verify their identity as part of Facebook's new advertising policies

Facebook will soon allow users view all ads that are running on a Facebook page, as well as Messenger and Instagram, by simply clicking a new “View Ads” feature. As part of the transparency drive, advertisers will have to ensure their ads are associated with a company or group Page as part of the ad creation process.

It follows on from chief executive Mark Zuckerberg's pledge in September for greater transparency around political ads.

However, the new rules will apply for both commercial and political advertisers. It will launch in Canada before further expansion in US during federal elections where political advertisers will have to first verify their identity.

In a blog post, Rob Goldman, vice president of Facebook ads wrote: "Once verified, these advertisers will have to include a disclosure in their election-related ads, which reads: “Paid for by.”

"When you click on the disclosure, you will be able to see details about the advertiser. Like other ads on Facebook, you will also be able to see an explanation of why you saw that particular ad."

Facebook will archive the ads, making them searchable over a four year period, and also provide details on the total amount spent and number of impressions that delivered. It will also record the demographics information (e.g. age, location, gender) about the audience that the ads reached.

Facebook earlier estimated that it exposed 10m US members to Russian propaganda. Twitter too banned ads from Russia Today and Sputnik over US presidential election meddling.

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