Facebook passes new rules on political ads

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has moved to provide more transparency on political ads.Facebook has announced a few more policy changes to limit the impact bad actors can have on upcoming elections in the US and around the world.
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The company is now requiring the administrators of popular Facebook pages to become verified, and also extending previous disclosure rules for political ads to issues-based advertising.

“Every advertiser who wants to run political or issue ads will need to be verified,” Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said in a post on his Facebook profile page on Friday.

“To get verified, advertisers will need to confirm their identity and location. Any advertiser who doesn’t pass will be prohibited from running political or issue ads. We will also label them and advertisers will have to show you who paid for them.”

Facebook previously announced the same rules for ads coming from political campaigns, but is now extending it to ads that are about a range of issues. Labels clearly marking these ads as political will roll out in the US later this (northern) spring, and all of these transparency features will be rolled out worldwide in the coming months, the company said on Friday.

Changes to Facebook’s policy around pages with large numbers of followers on the other hand will be implemented right away.

“People who manage Pages with large numbers of followers will need to be verified,” said Facebook advertising vice-president Rob Goldman and Facebook pages VP Alex Himel in a joint blog post.

“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, which is strictly against our policies.”

In addition to verifying page owners, Facebook will also disclose whether a page changed its name.

This is just the latest of a number of changes announced by Facebook this week. On Wednesday, Facebook chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer outlined a number of steps to better safeguard the personal information of the service’s users.

And earlier on Friday, Facebook said that it would make new retention rules around Messenger messages available to its users in the coming months. This followed revelations that Zuckerberg and other top executives had been able to delete sent messages in the past.

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