Facebook to tighten political ad rules for 2019 elections

Facebook to tighten political ad rules for 2019 elections


Facebook tightens political advertising rules in 2019 election year.

Important Facts:

  • Facebook will tighten the rules for political ads in countries where the elections are scheduled in the first half of the year to avoid any scandals.
  • The rule for Political ads are already underway in US, Britain and Brazil.
  • Under the new rule, person has to confirm his identity and location before they can run political ads on Facebook.
  • By confirming the identity, news organizations, regulators, watchdog groups and people can easily track advertisers and make the election process more accountable.
  • In India, the network will launch an Ad Library in a searchable database in an effort to increase transparency, and would verify the identities of people buying political ads.

What are Political Ads:

  • Any ad that references political figures, parties, elections, and legislation that are in the news will automatically be classed as a political ad.

Need for new rule:

  • Facebook has come under intense scrutiny, when the platform was a used for a large amount of election meddling in U.S traced to Russia.
  • Any candidate using Facebook can put a campaign message promising one thing in front of one group of voters while simultaneously running an ad with a completely opposite message in front of a different group of voters.
  • Advertising exposure can influence a voter’s evaluations of the candidates, either in a positive or negative direction.
  • It is currently hard for voters to see how political parties and other groups target particular individuals or groups through online advertising. A library of ads will allow the media and public to scrutinize political messages and the intent behind them.
  • Social media has become very important in political messaging, making it possible to message larger groups of constituents with very little physical effort or expense

Best Practice:

  • In the European Union, many countries do not permit paid-for TV or radio advertising for fear that wealthy groups will gain control and distorting the political debate in the process.
  • In both the United Kingdom and Ireland, paid advertisements are forbidden, though political parties are allowed a small number of party political broadcasts in the run up to election time.
  • The United States has a very free market for broadcast political messaging. Canada allows paid-for political broadcasts but requires equitable access to the radio frequency.
  • In countries such as Nigeria and Ukraine no foreign electoral ads will be accepted.
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