Facebook on Thursday announced additions to rules governing political advertisements in India in order to create more transparency ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. Facebook had first announced plans aimed at bringing transparency to political ads in India in December.
Facebook users will now begin to see political ads with “Published by” or “Paid for by” disclaimers specified by advertisers, the company said in a statement. “This will give people more information about who’s responsible for the ads they see.”
Users will also be able to access an ad library that allows them to search and learn more about political ads, including the cost of the advertisement, and demographics of views. The new features and policy will be effective from February 21.
In December, the company had made it mandatory for users who want to use Facebook for political advertising to confirm their identity, location and also give the platform more details about who is placing the ads.
On Thursday, Facebook said people will be able to see the country locations of users who manage pages that carry political ads in the coming weeks. “By increasing transparency around ads and pages on Facebook, we hope to increase accountability for advertisers, help people assess the content they’re seeing and prevent future abuse in elections,” Facebook said.
Social media platforms have faced scrutiny to bring more transparency to political ads in India. In January, Google said it was launching India-specific initiatives to bring transparency in online political advertisements ahead of the elections.
Twitter had announced that it will provide an advertising dashboard that will show expenditures by political parties in India on the platform during the course of the election.
Germany asks Facebook to restrict data collection
German authorities on Thursday ordered Facebook not to use customer data from Facebook-owned apps like WhatsApp and Instagram and third-party websites without the consent of users, The Guardian reported.
The federal cartel office said it would give the company 12 months to change its data policies. Once the ruling comes into force, Facebook will need “voluntary consent” from users before it can combine data from WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook.
The federal cartel office said Facebook was guilty of “exploitative abuse” by forcing users to agree to allow it to collect data from Facebook-owned services and third-party websites through the “Like” or “Share” features, AP reported.