Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Facebook Tightens Political Ad Rules, but Leaves Loopholes
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 5 years ago on
August 28, 2019

Share

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook is tightening its rules around political advertising ahead of the 2020 U.S. presidential elections, an acknowledgement of previous misuse. But it’s not clear if it will be enough to stop bad actors from abusing its system.
The changes include a tightened verification process that will require anyone wanting to run ads pertaining to elections, politics or big social issues like guns and immigration to confirm their identity and prove they are in the U.S. Beginning in mid-September, such advertisers confirm their group’s identity using their organization’s tax identification number or other government ID.
The verified group name will be listed on the “paid for by” disclaimers that disclose the backers of ads. Facebook says it will verify this information against government records and will note in the disclaimer for confirmed ads that they’re placed by a “confirmed organization.”
That process won’t apply to everyone, as Facebook says it would bar some smaller but legitimate groups from advertising. But a loophole that will allow small grassroots groups and local politicians to run political ads could also continue to allow bad actors to take advantage of the process.
Advertisers who don’t have tax ID numbers, government websites or registrations with the Federal Election Commission will still be able to post ads by providing an address, verifiable phone number and business email. These advertisers won’t get a “confirmed” designation. Previously, only a U.S. address was required. But it’s not inconceivable that bad actors will find a way to spoof phone numbers and email addresses.

A Way for the Company to Pre-Empt Stricter Government Crackdowns

“We’ve acknowledged that these tools will not be perfect,” Sarah Schiff, a Facebook product manager, said in an email. “But we are committed to making it more difficult for bad actors to misuse and abuse our platform” without penalizing smaller organizations.

“We’ve acknowledged that these tools will not be perfect. But we are committed to making it more difficult for bad actors to misuse and abuse our platform [without penalizing smaller organizations].” — Sarah Schiff, a Facebook product manager
Schiff also reiterated the company’s calls for regulation of online political advertising. Critics have said that Facebook’s attempts at self-regulation are merely a way for the company to pre-empt stricter government crackdowns.
Last month, Facebook was ordered to pay a S5 billion fine to the Federal Trade Commission over privacy violations. It also faces a series of other investigations into its privacy practices in Europe and across the U.S., in addition to new investigations into its allegedly anticompetitive behavior, such as the social network’s habit of buying would-be rivals like Instagram and blatantly duplicating features introduced by competing services.
While the company has beefed up its fight against misinformation and coordinated attacks by malicious nation-states, the same can be said for those trying to game its systems. After revelations that that Russians bankrolled thousands of fake political ads during the 2016 elections, Facebook and other social networks faced intense pressure to ensure that doesn’t happen again.
In late 2017, Facebook said it will verify political ad buyers by requiring them to confirm their names and locations, the latter by receiving a postcard with a confirmation code at a U.S. address. Page administrators also had to be verified.
But critics said the rules were easy to evade. Last fall, for instance, Vice News was able to place ads on behalf of the likes of Vice President Mike Pence and the Islamic State, which were all approved by Facebook.

DON'T MISS

A Fresno Edition of Monopoly? That’s Capitalism at Work, Baby!

DON'T MISS

California Officials Sue Huntington Beach Over Voter ID Law Passed at Polls

DON'T MISS

Indiana Fever Receives No. 1 Overall Draft Pick Caitlin Clark

DON'T MISS

Which Fresno Restaurants Are Best? The Pros Picked These Places.

DON'T MISS

Trump’s Historic Hush-Money Trial Gets Underway; 1st Day Ends Without Any Jurors Being Picked

DON'T MISS

Fresno-Madera United Way Launches National Search for New CEO

DON'T MISS

Justice Thomas Misses Supreme Court Session Monday With No Explanation

DON'T MISS

‘Civil War’ Declares Victory at the Box Office, Toppling ‘Godzilla X Kong’

DON'T MISS

Why Tortillas Sold in California May Be Forced to Add a New Ingredient

DON'T MISS

Costco Tries Again at City Council for Big NW Fresno Move

UP NEXT

Justice Thomas Misses Supreme Court Session Monday With No Explanation

UP NEXT

‘Civil War’ Declares Victory at the Box Office, Toppling ‘Godzilla X Kong’

UP NEXT

Scheffler Turns the Masters Into Another Sunday Yawner With a Dominating Win

UP NEXT

Vegas, US Tour and More Signings: Wrexham Has Plenty of Fun and Work Ahead After Latest Promotion

UP NEXT

NBA Play-in Game Preview: West Games on Tuesday, East Games on Wednesday, Eliminations on Friday

UP NEXT

Palestinian Supporters Block Golden Gate Bridge in Nationwide Protest

UP NEXT

Bureau of Prisons to Close California Women’s Prison Where Inmates Have Been Subjected to Sex Abuse

UP NEXT

How California Legislators Got More Than $1.4 Million in Travel and Gifts in 2023

UP NEXT

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

UP NEXT

Reacher Star Alan Ritchson Calls Donald Trump a ‘Rapist’

Which Fresno Restaurants Are Best? The Pros Picked These Places.

8 hours ago

Trump’s Historic Hush-Money Trial Gets Underway; 1st Day Ends Without Any Jurors Being Picked

8 hours ago

Fresno-Madera United Way Launches National Search for New CEO

Local /

9 hours ago

Justice Thomas Misses Supreme Court Session Monday With No Explanation

10 hours ago

‘Civil War’ Declares Victory at the Box Office, Toppling ‘Godzilla X Kong’

10 hours ago

Why Tortillas Sold in California May Be Forced to Add a New Ingredient

10 hours ago

Costco Tries Again at City Council for Big NW Fresno Move

11 hours ago

Scheffler Turns the Masters Into Another Sunday Yawner With a Dominating Win

12 hours ago

Ethiopia’s Lemma Wins, Fresno’s Albertson 7th in Boston Marathon. Kenya’s Obiri Retains Women Title.

12 hours ago

Vegas, US Tour and More Signings: Wrexham Has Plenty of Fun and Work Ahead After Latest Promotion

12 hours ago

A Fresno Edition of Monopoly? That’s Capitalism at Work, Baby!

Alright, cats and kittens, straphang onto your beanies because I’m about to lay a news flash on you that’s so whimsically wild it coul...

7 hours ago

Fresno Monopoly Edition
7 hours ago

A Fresno Edition of Monopoly? That’s Capitalism at Work, Baby!

7 hours ago

California Officials Sue Huntington Beach Over Voter ID Law Passed at Polls

7 hours ago

Indiana Fever Receives No. 1 Overall Draft Pick Caitlin Clark

8 hours ago

Which Fresno Restaurants Are Best? The Pros Picked These Places.

8 hours ago

Trump’s Historic Hush-Money Trial Gets Underway; 1st Day Ends Without Any Jurors Being Picked

Local /
9 hours ago

Fresno-Madera United Way Launches National Search for New CEO

10 hours ago

Justice Thomas Misses Supreme Court Session Monday With No Explanation

10 hours ago

‘Civil War’ Declares Victory at the Box Office, Toppling ‘Godzilla X Kong’

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend