Earlier last month, Facebook introduced new requirements in Canada for anyone who might be interested in purchasing political advertisements on the platform. While it was unclear at the time if the tools would make their way to other countries, Facebook has announced that it has begun rolling out ‘transparency tools’ in several other countries.
Facebook revealed the upcoming changes in a blog post as Sarah Schiff, product manager of the social network reiterated its commitment to increase transparency of advertisements in the coming months. As Facebook was satisfied with the performance in earlier tests, the tools are now available in countries that are approaching towards election or other significant political event.
At the moment, the tools are available to advertisers in Ukraine, Singapore, Canada and Argentina. While users will still be able to run advertisements on Facebook, Schiff pointed out that advertisers will be required to abide by the local laws when they run political ads on the platform. If others report the advertisements and Facebook determines that the advertisements are violating laws, the social network will proceed to remove them. Schiff noted, “With these tools, regulators are now better positioned to consider how to protect elections with sensible regulations.”
Similar to the requirements when the feature was launched in Canada, in case someone from these countries wants to promote political ads on Facebook, s/he will now be required to present their ID in order to confirm that the person is who s/he is claiming to be. However, if Facebook decides to change the policy in a country going forward, those who have successfully verified their identity won’t be required to complete any other tasks and will continue to be eligible to promote their contents.