Facebook Tightens Restrictions On Political Ads, But There Are Loopholes
- Most organizations that buy political ads on Facebook and Instagram will soon have to prove their identity with a government ID, the social media company said.
- The move is intended to increase the transparency of ads on the platform ahead of the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
- Facebook has required political advertisers to register since 2017, although some are able to avoid registering.
Facebook said Wednesday it is tightening requirements for organizations that buy advertisements on the social media company's platform related to political or social issues.
Currently, political ad buyers must provide information about who they are and where they are located in the U.S., which Facebook includes in a disclaimer that runs alongside the ads. Yet that hasn't stopped some advertisers from putting misleading information about their identity in these disclaimers, Facebook said in a blog post.
Now, in addition to a street address and contact information, ad buyers will have to provide a tax ID number, a Federal Election Commission identification number or a government website matching the buyer's email to Facebook. Once Facebook verifies this information, it will dub the advertiser a "Confirmed Organization," Facebook said.
Advertisers can also choose not to provide detailed information about their organization, Facebook said. In that case, a person acting as that organization's administrator will be listed as the entity paying for the ad, the company said. Advertisers will have until the middle of October to supply information about their identity.
"While the authorization process won't be perfect, it will help us confirm the legitimacy of an organization and provide people with more details about who's behind the ads they are seeing," the company said in a blog post.