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Facebook Prohibits Political Ads Until Authorised, Increases Accountability on Ads

A few important changes coming the way online ads and Pages on Facebook as well as on Instagram are managed announced social network company on Friday.

The foreign interference in the 2016 US elections which triggered theses changes increases transparency and accountability for electoral and issue ads are designed to prevent future abuse in elections.

Furthermore, the company said it’s creating a list of key isuses with third parties which will be refined over time.

These update is an extension to previously announced requirement of authorized advertisers will be able to run electoral ads on Facebook or Instagram—today, extended to include “anyone” that wants to show “issue ads,” such as political topics being debated across the country.

“Advertisers now prohibited from running political or electoral or issue-based ads until authorized.”

Facebook has already begin testing the authorization process starting this week. Advertisers can now confirm their indentity and location to get authorized by Facebook. Furthermore, the company is engaing artificial intelligence (AI) and more people in order to find advertisers that have not gone through the authorization yet.

In addition, these ads will be labeled now as “Political Ad” in the top left corner, and next to it — will display “paid for by” information. People in the US will start seeing this information later this spring.

Also, Facebook is asking users to report any “unlabeled” political ad by tapping three dots in the top right corner of the ad and selecting “Report Ad.”

Watch this video to see how this new feature would work:

That’s now all, in Canada, Facebook is running a test feature called “View Ads” that let people see ads on a Page outside their News Feed. This is applied to all advertiser Pages and not just Pages running political ads, said Facebook.

View Ads are scheduled to go global this June.

Other feature going public this June is a new “Searchable Political Ads Archive,” that contain all ads with “Political Ad” label. It’ll show image and text as well as information, like the amount spent and demographic audience information for each ad.

In addition, this increase in authenticity and transparency is extended Pages as well and now require everyone managing Pages with large numbers of followers to be verified. That said, anyone who manage large Pages and don’t clear the verification process “will no longer be able to post,” facebook stated.

Facebook said this will prevent people who use fake accounts to manage Pages. Additionally, it’ll also show more additional context about Pages to effectively assess their content—-for example, “you will be able to see whether a Page has changed its name.”

Until day before yesterday’s report, Facebook’s having an ability to “retract” or “unsend” non-secret messages had never been made public or known to affected message recipients.

The reports surfaced on April 5 reporting, that messages sent by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, including top executives as well as were being deleted from inboxes, which also ended up being reflected in data downloaded via the platform’s archive download tool.

The company responding to queries stated, “After Sony Pictures’ emails were hacked in 2014 we made a number of changes to protect our executives’ communications. These included limiting the retention period for Mark’s messages in Messenger. We did so in full compliance with our legal obligations to preserve messages.”

Though, it’s now been discovered, a Facebook spokesperson said:

“We will now be making a broader delete message feature available. This may take some time. And until this feature is ready, we will no longer be deleting any executives’ messages. We should have done this sooner — and we’re sorry that we did not.”

Facebook separately has a message expiration ability available in existing secret conversations feature in Messenger.

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