Sunday 21 July 2019

Facebook set to roll out its Irish political ad policy around the world

Like?: Facebook has unveiled a new policy on political ads. Photo: Reuters
Like?: Facebook has unveiled a new policy on political ads. Photo: Reuters

Paresh Dave

Facebook is to extend its Irish referendum political ad policy around the world.

Beginning on Wednesday in Nigeria, only advertisers located in the country will be able to run electoral ads, mirroring a policy unveiled during an Irish referendum last May, Katie Harbath, Facebook's director of global politics and outreach, said.

The same policy will take effect in Ukraine in February. Nigeria holds a presidential election on February 16, while Ukraine will follow on March 31.

In India, which votes for parliament this spring, Facebook will place electoral ads in a searchable online library starting from next month, said Rob Leathern, a director of product management at the company.

"We're learning from every country," Leathern said. "We know we're not going to be perfect, but our goal is continuing, ongoing improvement."

Facebook believes that holding the ads in a library for seven years is a key part of fighting interference, he added.

The library will resemble archives brought to the United States, Brazil and Britain last year.

The new-found transparency drew some applause from elected officials and campaign accountability groups, but they also criticized Facebook for allowing advertisers in the United States to obfuscate their identities.

Harbath said: "Our goal was to get to a global solution."

Reuters

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