Facebook on Tuesday that it would extend to India, Nigeria, Ukraine and the European Union some of its political advertising rules and tools to prevent election interference, Reuters reported.
Both Nigeria and Ukraine are set to hold presidential elections in February and March 31, respectively. The Lok Sabha elections in India are likely to be held between April and May, while the EU will have its polls in May.
Rob Leathern, a director of product management at Facebook, told Reuters the company will move electoral advertisements in a searchable online library in India beginning February. “We are learning from every country,” he said. “We know we are not going to be perfect, but our goal is continuing, ongoing improvement.”
The archive will be similar to those brought to the United States, Brazil and Britain in 2018 and will contain contact information for some advertisement buyers or their official regulatory certificates. Facebook said it will ensure that the listed names of individuals buying advertisements match their government-issued documents.
“This is a library of all ads related to politics 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,” the website had said last month when it announced a number of measures to prevent the abuse of its platform ahead of the elections.
Users who want to employ Facebook for political advertising in India will now need to confirm their identity and location and also give the platform more details about who is placing the ads. Facebook will also start showing a disclaimer on all political advertisements giving more information about who placed them, along with the online searchable advertisement library accessible to all.
Facebook’s Director of Global Politics and Outreach Katie Harbath said that only advertisers located in Nigeria will be able to run electoral advertisements beginning Wednesday. The same policy will be followed in Ukraine as well.
Facebook said it is still considering policies for Australia, Indonesia, Israel and the Philippines, which are due to hold elections this year. Harbath said the social media giant was looking to come up with a set of tools by June that would apply to advertisers globally.
Google in November had also announced plans to introduce controls on political advertisement funding to check the spread of fake news ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. The company had said it will list out regulations, making it mandatory to include disclosures about who paid for the advertisements.