Science

Facebook to disclose details about political advertisers

Facebook to disclose details about political advertisers”

Facebook is implementing stricter checks and balances for political advertisers, announcing Friday that advertisers running federal election-related ads in the USA would be required to verify their identity as well as run disclosures on each ad.

"We did not come to this decision lightly, and are taking this step now as part of our ongoing commitment to help protect the integrity of the user experience on Twitter", Twitter's public policy team said in a statement Thursday. Their ads will be appended with a "paid for by" disclosure - a requirement that will start in the United States and expand to other jurisdictions, Facebook said in a blog post. "That level of transparency is good for democracy and it's good for the electoral process".

"We are starting with federal elections in the USA, and will progress from there to additional contests and elections in other countries and jurisdictions", Goldman added.

In response to a tweet on Friday by PJ Vogt, the presenter of a technology podcast called Reply All, Facebook's Vice President of Ads Rob Goldman said it was "just not true" the tech giant used this practice.

So Facebook could easily have such a system that eavesdrops on conversations looking to sniff out phrases with mentions of products or consumer goods, especially if the app is granted permission to access the phone's microphone or camera. "When we expand to the United States we plan to begin building an archive of federal-election related ads so that we can show both current and historical federal-election related ads", he said.

Once verified, these advertisers will have to include a disclosure in their election-related ads, which reads: "Paid for by". Every such ad will also be included in a searchable archive covering a rolling four-year period starting from when it launches the archive.

Twitter added that it would donate revenues from Russia Today and Sputnik ads towards supporting research projects exploring Twitter's role in civic engagement and political campaigning.

It also said that it would allow people to see the ads a Facebook business page - whether a brand, small business or a person - is now running.

"We will start this test in Canada and roll it out to the U.S. by this summer, ahead of the USA midterm elections in November, as well as broadly to all other countries around the same time", Goldman said.

Many Facebook users replied to PJ Vogt's original tweet, describing incidents where they believed Facebook may have been listening to their conversations.



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