Facebook was reported earlier this year to be set to apply certain rules to political ads in preparation for the UK local elections taking place in May of next year. In an effort to help keep these kinds of ads in the country transparent, the social networking giant announced today that those who want to run ads in the UK with reference to political figures or causes are required to prove their identity and location and reveal who paid for the ads.
The identity of individuals or organizations paying for the ads will be included in the “Paid for by” disclaimer as part of Facebook's efforts to prevent abuse on the platform. The disclaimer also includes a link to UK’s own Ad Library, containing the ad’s budget and number of people reached. The repository can be publicly accessed even by those who don't have a Facebook account. The new transparency rules apply to both Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook encourages users who may see political ads on the service with no appropriate label to report them by tapping the three dots at the top right-hand corner of the content. The company's team of reviewers will then remove the ad, and add it to the Ad Library before banning the advertisers concerned until they comply with the authorization requirements.
The move marks the latest in a series of efforts by the Menlo Park-based company to help ensure electoral integrity across the world. In July, Facebook took down fake pages and accounts supposedly created to mislead people in Brazil ahead of the country's general elections this month. The ad transparency rules have been in effect in the U.S. for a year now, though the regulations still have a long way to go in terms of fully curbing abuse on the platform.