Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced an overhauling in the manner in which the social media giant handles advertisers, which is bound to have a major impact on pages running ads.
In a post on his official page, Zuckerberg said that two measures have been taken under a new ad policy in view of the upcoming elections in more than five countries including India. The 33-year-old CEO said that Facebook wants to “support positive discourse and prevent interference in these elections”.
“From now on, every advertiser who wants to run political or issue ads will need to be verified. To get verified, advertisers will need to confirm their identity and location,” he wrote adding that non-verified advertisers will not be allowed to run or issue ads.
“We will also label them and advertisers will have to show you who paid for them. We’re starting this in the US and expanding to the rest of the world in the coming months,” he wrote.
The second measure is for people managing large pages.
“We will also require people who manage large pages to be verified as well. This will make it much harder for people to run pages using fake accounts, or to grow virally and spread misinformation or divisive content that way,” Zuckerberg wrote.
He also said that Facebook has built a tool to let anyone see all of the ads on a page for greater transparency. The company is also working on a searchable archive of past political ads.
Facebook will also be hiring “thousands” in order to require verification for all of these pages and advertisers.
“We’re committed to getting this done in time for the critical months before the 2018 elections,” he stated.
Facebook has been building a stricter ads policy ever since they identified Russian interference in the 2016 US elections. An AI tool created by the company removed “tens of thousands” of fake accounts ahead of the 2017 French, German, and Alabama Senate special elections.
“Election interference is a problem that’s bigger than any one platform, and that’s why we support the Honest Ads Act,” Zuckerberg said.
The Facebook CEO has been under fire ever since it emerged that political research firm Cambridge Analytica used data acquired from an app to influence elections in US. Zuckerberg will be testifying before the US Congress next week in connection with the scandal that has also affected Indian political parties.