Facebook Tightens Guidelines for Political Ads

By Dipo Olowookere

The use of social media platforms for political campaigns is no doubt gaining more traction and politicians have found a way of using the channel to pass their message to the electorates.

Since the United States came hard on Facebook after the 2016 elections, the social media giant has made efforts to make things better.

As Nigerians prepare to head to the polls next month to pick a new set of leaders and representatives, Facebook is coming out with stringent measures to control political campaigns on its platform.

Revealing its plans to bring about sanity to the system, Facebook said starting with Nigeria, from January 16, 2019, it will no longer accept foreign electoral ads centred on the 2019 general elections in the country, which kick off on February 16 with the presidential and National Assembly polls and ends with the March 2 governorship and state houses of assembly elections.

“As we prepare for major elections around the world this year, we’re continuing our focus on preventing foreign interference and giving people more information about the ads they see across our platforms.

“Our work this year builds on our political ad transparency efforts that we launched in the US, the UK and Brazil.

“Political advertisers in these countries must confirm their identity and location before they can run ads, and their ads are housed in a public, searchable Ad Library for up to seven years.

“In the coming months, we’ll be rolling out additional protections ahead of upcoming elections.

“We’ll temporarily expand enforcement and not accept foreign electoral ads around their elections, starting with Nigeria on January 16.

“In February (in India), we’ll launch an Ad Library and enforce authorizations ahead of the country’s general elections this spring.

“We plan to roll out ad transparency tools (in EU) before May elections (and) by the end of June, we’ll provide a set of these tools for advertisers around the world,” the social media giant said.

“By shining a light on political ads, news organizations, regulators, watchdog groups and people anywhere in the world can hold advertisers and us more accountable,” Facebook added.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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