The Strategist

Facebook to tighten political ads rules by the next US presidential election

08/29/2019 - 11:15

By the mid-September presidential election in the United States, Facebook will tighten the authorization of US customers who want to place political ads on social networks, as well as show users more information about each advertiser and start listing social issues in the United States. The company announced regular measures to protect elections in the United States on August 28.

The company will now require more information from advertisers than before, right up to the company’s state identification number. For commercial, non-profit and non-governmental organizations, this will be the taxpayer number. Government and military organizations will have to provide a link to their website in the .gov or .mil domain zone. Political organizations will have to present the number that they received at the Federal Election Commission.

In this case, it will be considered that the customer placing political advertising has confirmed his identity and connection with an organization on behalf of which he wants to place advertising. Once confirmation is done, he will receive the right to indicate the name of this organization in the disclaimer for advertising, and the icon "confirmed organization" will appear on the advertisement itself. Clicking on this icon will provide additional information about the organization.

From small organizations and local politicians, the company will require the user to specify a name, address, website, email address and phone number; the company will check this data by itself.

The advertising customer may refuse to provide information about himself, but then he will not be allowed to indicate any organizations in the disclaimer.

The company decided to introduce these rules after it became more frequent when advertisers tried to hide the source of advertising and indicated other companies and organizations in the disclaimers.

Until now, ordering a political ad on Facebook required confirming a customer’s location and identity. This requirement was introduced last spring.

Facebook will also clarify the types of advertising that it considers political.

Facebook and other Internet companies tightened the rules for posting political ads after the 2016 U.S. presidential election scandal. In early 2018, the United States formally indicted 13 Russian citizens known as the “troll factory” and two catering companies of businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin. They were accused of interfering in US elections through the dissemination of false and incitement to contention information in social networks and the organization of street actions also with the aim of creating discord in American society. It was reported that the “trolls” exploted not only political topics, but also the problems of racism, migration, and even refusal of vaccines that were resonant for the modern USA.