Shortly after a year of the 2020 presidential elections in the United States, Facebook announced changes in its advertising rules that will require new revelations for political ads that appear on its site, as well as on Instagram.
This means that, among other measures, lAdvertisers should add additional information to verify their legitimacy. In addition, the company made known its position around social issues and the spread of fake news. This is all you should know to know if you can trust the ads that are seen on Facebook and Instagram.
Those who post ads on political or social issues should show government credentials, such as an organization identification number with tax registration or a domain on the government website. If an advertiser lacks these credentials, they must prove their identity by providing a telephone number, commercial email or a postal address.If advertisers do not comply with these new policies and do not provide adequate information until mid-October, they ensure from the social network, their ads will be stopped.
"While our efforts to protect the elections are ongoing and will not be perfect, this will make it harder for advertisers to hide five behind the ads, and provide greater transparency for people," the publication said.
In addition to its advertising policies, Facebook also announced an update of its Social Issues list, which includes situations that are relevant to society. These will be listed in 10 categories, instead of the current 20 thematic areas. The site said they initially made the list "intentionally broad."
?We will continue to capture a variety of topics covered by the 10 referenced categories. For example, in the category of Civil and Social Rights, we will continue to proactively detect and review announcements on issues such as freedom of religion, LGBTQ rights and women's rights, ?said Facebook.
Fighting advertising fraud
The social media giant received many negative reactions to the way ads and news articles were handled during the 2016 elections. Investigations showed that up to 126 million Americans saw political ads that turned out to be paid by Russian organizations.
The announcement is one of the many paths that the platform has taken to try to reduce political advertising fraud. Since the elections granted to the Trump administration, Facebook has made it easier to see who paid for political announcements and has partnered with the Atlantic Council to work proactively against misinformation.
And the fake news?
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly proposed artificial intelligence (AI) as the solution to the dilemma of fake news or fake news. However, the problem is likely to require high levels of human participation, as many experts agree that AI technologies need further progress.
That seems to be the reason behind the company's decision in terms of discrediting the fake news, Facebook announced that it is hiring professional journalists for its new News Tab function, hoping to curb unreliable or non-impartial information.
In addition, to combat the fraudulent information that drives political agendas, Facebook continually removes groups, accounts and pages for "coordinated inauthentic behavior." Only this year, the social network has published more than ten ads on the mass elimination of fake accounts globally.
Learning from the past …
After a series of controversies during and after the 2016 presidential elections in the United States, Facebook went on defense against critics directed against its News Feed. With reports that tried to blame the company for the dissemination of false information in its social network and the negative effect that this supposedly had on its users, the company had no choice but to respond.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg directly referred to the accusations during his speech at the Techonomy conference. "Personally, I think the idea that the spread of fake news on Facebook, which constitute a very small amount of content, influenced the elections in some way … is a pretty crazy idea," he admitted.
And he continued: ?There is a certain deep lack of empathy in the claim that someone votes the way he did because he saw false news. If that's what you think, then I don't think you have internalized the message that Trump supporters are trying to send in these elections. ?
Even before election night, reports had arisen alleging that false or wrong information was constantly being disseminated in the trending topics of Facebook, largely automated.
Subsequently, BuzzFeed discovered what was defined as a "fake news empire" of spammers with origins in Macedonia and Russia, which had infiltrated Facebook groups. After the result of the elections and the rise of Donald Trump to the presidency, critics only became stronger.
Zuckerberg said the problem was oversized: ?All the research we do suggests that this was not really a problem. Cheats are not new to Facebook. There have been scams on the Internet since long before, and on Facebook we are doing everything possible so that people can report them. ?
Since then, Facebook has made a series of changes to optimize the content of its News Feed, in addition to the adoption of measures to combat "Clickbait", and to serve more elements of "journalistic interest" to its users.