Facebook is trying to contain the alleged damage caused by Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections in the U.S. In an extraordinary move, the company has announced a series of measures for future and retroactive use.
In a special announcement, Rob Goldman, VP of Ads at Facebook, announced a series of requirements for advertisers and page owners which enhance transparency and provide details on how pages and advertisers conduct their advertising efforts on the platform.
Starting in the next months, all active ads on a Page will start being visible to users. Visitors will be able to tap on a special “View Ads” button which will show the ads a page is currently running on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. This feature will be tested in Canada first, and will start rolling out in the U.S. sometime during the summer of 2018.
The timing is of significance; Midterm US elections are coming, and Facebook wants to create a barrier against other “agents,” advertising on its platform in order to influence election results.
It has now been confirmed, that a series of foreign pages ran divisive, inflammatory ads during 2016 campaign season. The extent of damage and influence is still unknown, but Facebook wants to ensure both users and federal agencies that such activities will not be tolerated anymore.
For this reason, Facebook will “begin building an archive of federal-election related ads” so that it can show both current and historical federal-election related advertising activities. Moreover, for each federal-election ad, Facebook will provide a series of data to further ensure transparency. This data will include a rolling, searchable, four-year ads archive, the total amounts spent, impressions delivered, and demographic information of the ads.
Last but not least, Facebook will ask political advertisers to verify their identity – both their entity and location. Once verified, a disclosure box will appear on the video, where viewers will be able to check who’s sponsoring the advertisement.
You can read the full announcement, here.