Facebook has confirmed to Reuters that it plans to extend stringent ad rules and tools to countries that have an election this year in order to prevent any interference from outside countries who wish to run controversial adverts. It said that India, Nigeria, Ukraine, and the European Union (EU) would be among the places gaining the new tools.
Discussing the news, Rob Leathern, Product Director at Facebook, said:
“We’re learning from every country. We know we’re not going to be perfect, but our goal is continuing, ongoing improvement.”
In December, Facebook confirmed that it was going to tighten up the process of running political ads on its network; it said advertisers would to have confirm their identity, location, and other details. In India, Facebook has also launched a campaign to highlight the danger of spreading fake news around groups on messaging platforms, including its own WhatsApp.
Beginning Wednesday in Nigeria, only those located inside the country will be able to run political ads. This policy will also take effect in Ukraine in February. Elections in those countries will take place on February 16 and March 31 respectively. Those in India will be able to search an online library of electoral ads beginning next month, the firm has already launched such an archive in other countries. Similar measures will be available in the European Union ahead of the parliamentary elections which are due in May.
Generally, no matter what your views are on alleged election meddling, it’s nice to see Facebook be open about who's paying for ads that are being shown to users.