* This is progress, but it’s not enough…
Under pressure in advance of hearings on Russian election interference, Facebook is moving to increase transparency for everyone who sees and buys political advertising on its site.
Executives for the social media company said Friday they will verify political ad buyers in federal elections, requiring them to reveal correct names and locations, and to create new graphics where users can click on the ads and find out more about who’s behind them.
More broadly, Rob Goldman, Facebook’s vice president in charge of ad products, said the company is building new transparency tools in which all advertisers — even those that aren’t political — are associated with a page, and users can click on a link to see all of the ads any advertiser is running.
Users also will be able to see all of the ads paid for by the advertisers, whether or not those ads were originally targeted toward them. […]
Facebook’s Goldman said the company also will build a new archive of federal election ads on Facebook, including the total amount spent and the number of times an ad is displayed, he said. The archive, which will be public for anyone to search, would also have data on the audience that saw the ads, including gender and location information. The archive would eventually hold up to four years of data.
That last component should apply to state and local elections, too, and go beyond candidates to third party “issue” advertisers.
In the coming weeks, we will launch an industry-leading transparency center that will offer everyone visibility into who is advertising on Twitter, details behind those ads, and tools to share your feedback with us.
Specifically, the Transparency Center will show:
All ads that are currently running on Twitter, including Promoted-Only ads
How long ads have been running
Ad creative associated with those campaigns
Ads targeted to you, as well as personalized information on which ads you are eligible to receive based on targeting […]
Electioneering ads are those that refer to a clearly identified candidate (or party associated with that candidate) for any elected office.* To make it clear when you are seeing or engaging with an electioneering ad, we will now require that electioneering advertisers identify their campaigns as such. We will also change the look and feel of these ads and include a visual political ad indicator.
In the Transparency Center, there will be a special section for electioneering ads that will include:
All ads that are currently running or that have run on Twitter, including Promoted-Only ads
Disclosure on total campaign ad spend by advertiser
Transparency about the identity of the organization funding the campaign
Targeting demographics, such as age, gender and geography
Historical data about all electioneering ad spending by advertiser
We are also updating our policies for electioneering advertisers to:
Include stricter requirements on who can serve these ads and limit targeting options
Require electioneering advertisers to self-identify as such
Introduce stronger penalties for advertisers who violate policies
Regarding Issue-Based Ads
We are committed to stricter policies and transparency around issue-based ads. There is currently no clear industry definition for issue-based ads but we will work with our peer companies, other industry leaders, policy makers, and ad partners to clearly define them quickly and integrate them into the new approach mentioned above.