Facebook announced that it is tightening requirements for groups buying political ads on the social network, ahead of the 2020 elections. 

Last year the company started asking advertisers to get provide specific identification to run ads about topics related to social issues, elections or politics.

This involved advertisers to provide identification to confirm who they are and where they are located.This includes a U.S. street address, phone number, business email and website matching to the email. 

The Specifics Of The Announcement 

Initiated during mid September, Facebook said that advertisers will now need to present more information about their organization in order to run political ads.

If they fail to submit this information they will see their ads paused, said by the company.

Once they submit this information, Facebook will then label the advertiser as a “Confirmed Organization” in its ad records. 

The advertiser will be able to also use their registered company name in the ad disclaimers.

Along with this, the “i” icon that appears on the upper-right side corner of the ad will read “Confirmed Organization.”

Options For Small Businesses and Local Politicians

For businesses that are smaller or local politicians who need to run ads about social issues, elections or politics can choose to submit either one of the two other options instead.

They can provide an organization name with a verified phone number, business email, mail-deliverable address and business website with a domain matching the email.

Or they can also provide no organizational information and use the Page Admin’s legal name on their personal information document.

Facebook security | iTMunch

What Is The Real Issue? 

Facebook says that they will be updating their Ad Library to make it simpler to track and compare U.S. presidential candidate spending.

They also will expand their policy to forbid ads that discourage people from voting.

According to the company, they believe that these actions will also provide greater transparency for the people. 

However, could this just be a distraction for the real issue at hand? 

While Facebook has confirmed they will be collecting and storing data regarding political ads in its ad library, however, this data will not be available to researches. This causes a huge obstruction for researchers who are currently analyzing political spend. 

Owing to this, a group of researchers have sent Facebook an ultimatum, which basically demands that the company delivers the data the researchers were promised. 

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