Facebook introduces authorisation process for political ads ahead of 2019 General Election

People posting ads relating to a political campaign will need to provide identity proof and documentation of their address which will be checked and verified by Facebook India's team

by exchange4media Staff
Published - Dec 19, 2018 8:25 AM Updated: Dec 19, 2018 8:25 AM

Facebook is beefing up its authorisation process for political advertisers in India ahead of the 2019 General Election.

According to reports, Facebook will strengthen efforts to verify the identity and location of political advertisers, which means that people who wish to post ads relating to a political campaign will need to provide identity proof and documentation of their address which will then be checked and verified on location by Facebook India's team.

Another way this verification will be conducted is by Facebook sending a verification code by post to the given address.

These political ads will then be saved in Facebook's 'Ad Library', allowing anyone, even those who are not Facebook users, to search for and find them.

According to Facebook, this verification process can take several weeks, therefore the company has requested organisations to begin the verification process well in advance.

However, experts have opined that these measures can still open loopholes which will allow “proxy advertising”, as in the case of the US mid-term elections, where third-party entities posted on behalf of political parties and candidates.

Similarly, in India, there is a possibility that publishers of fake news and news publishers with political affiliations, could serve as proxies for political parties. While on the other hand, the process may even exclude genuine news publishers from authorisation due to their content advertising, which will include elections and political issues, will overlap the 2019 election.

However, with the Cambridge Analytica scandal still looming large over Facebook, there have been increasingly louder calls for the social media giant to step up efforts to curb misuse of the platform during election time.

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