Facebook further restricts political advertisers with verifiable contact rule

Facebook further restricts political advertisers with verifiable contact rule

Facebook is further clamping down on political advertisers with a new requirement for verifiable contact details to be given before campaigns can be run.

The new rules come into force ahead of EU elections in a move designed to counter accusations that the social network lacks accountability and transparency in showing who pulls the strings behind paid for political messaging on the service.

Facebook will insist advertisers disclose where they sourced their funding from in the form of an email address or phone number directing people to the company or organisation responsible. Advertisers acting in a personal capacity will be required to publish their name, as confirmed by Facebook.

As such, advertisers must also prove that they live in the country within which the advertising is being targeted and agree to store all their adverts on a public database for a period of seven years, together with information on targeting, spend and reach.

These rules will come into force across the continent from today for all content falling into ‘political’ topics, as defined on a country by country basis.

Richard Allan, head of global policy solutions at Facebook, said: “These changes will not prevent abuse entirely. We’re up against smart, creative and well-funded adversaries who change their tactics as we spot abuse. But we believe that they will help prevent future interference in elections on Facebook.”

Facebook’s previous attempts to clampdown on so called dark adverts came in for heavy criticism after groups such as Britain’s Future were shown to have lavished £350k on pro-Brexit messaging - without divulging their funding source.

Google has enacted its own measures to enhance political transparency ahead of the EU elections.

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