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Disclose your identity, location in political ads: Facebook to advertisers

This is key as we work hard to prevent abuse on Facebook ahead of 2019 general elections

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Narendra Modi
File photo: Narendra Modi speaks on stage during a town hall at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, California

In a bid to bring transparency in political advertisements in the run-up to 2019 general elections, Thursday made it compulsory for advertisers to disclose their identity and location before any such advertisement material can be run on the popular platform and

Beginning early next year, will also start showing a disclaimer on all political advertisements by providing details of those placing the advertisements.

Also, an 'online searchable ad library' will be opened to provide information like budget associated with an individual advertisement and the range of impressions and demographics of who viewed the advertisement, said in a blog.

In the blog, Facebook said political advertisements will have to be run by an advertiser who has completed the identification authorisation process and labelled with the disclaimer.

"By authorising advertisers and bringing more transparency to ads, we can better defend against foreign interference in India's elections," it said.

Facebook, which has over 200 million users in India, said it was important that people know more about the advertisements they see, especially those that refer to political figures, political parties, elections, and legislation.

"That's why we're making big changes to the way we manage these ads on Facebook and We've rolled out these changes in the US, Brazil, and the UK, and next, we're taking our first steps towards bringing transparency to ads related to in India," it said.

"This is key as we work hard to prevent abuse on Facebook ahead of India's general elections next year," it said.

According to Facebook, now anyone who wants to run an advertisement in India related to will need to first confirm their identity and location, and give more details about who placed the advertisement.

"The identity and location confirmation will take a few weeks so advertisers can start that process today by using their mobile phones or computer to submit proof of identity and location. This will help avoid delays when they run political ads next year," it said.

Early next year, Facebook will start to show a disclaimer on all political advertisements that provide more information about who is placing the advertisement and an online searchable Ad Library for anyone to access.

"This is a library of all ads related to from a particular advertiser as well as information like the budget associated with an individual ad, a range of impressions, as well as the demographics of who saw the ad," it said.

Further, Facebook will begin to enforce the policy that requires all advertisements related to politics be run by an advertiser who has completed the authorisations process and be labelled with the disclaimer.

"We will not require eligible news publishers to get authorised, and we won't include their ads in the Ad Library," the blog said.

Facebook owns photo-sharing platform

First Published: Thu, December 06 2018. 21:00 IST