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The United State’s 2020 election is soon here, and preparations are being made from every corner. Facebook has not been left behind as it is enforcing new and stricter rules to ensure the election is not jeopardized with disinformation in any way through the platform.
According to the statement made by Facebook on Wednesday, the strict rules will be majorly applied in the verification of ads and the verification process for political advertisements placed on the platform will be modified.
This comes in good time after Facebook established new rules last year, where it started asking political advertisers to provide the name of the organisation that is responsible for every political ad on the platform; this aimed at proving their identities. This policy was actually triggered by criticism towards Facebook on the accusations of allowing Russian operatives to exploits its ads in the previous US presidential election in 2016.
The new rule will also require political advertisers to show further that they are verified and registered by the United States Government. To prove this, the advertisers will need to provide proof including national identification number, a government website domain or a Federal Election Commission identification number. For the small businesses, they will have to submit an active and valid phone number and business email address. Tax identification numbers can also be used by advertisers to verify their identity.
To make the new ads policy even more useful, Facebook introduced war rooms, whose principal aim has been to evaluate content on advertiser’s pages to ensure no disinformation is passed.
These numerous moves seem to be significant improvements and efforts from Facebook, after facing many questions on how it will detach itself from similar manipulation, as it is alleged that Russia used the platform to influence the previous United States Elections. Additionally, the implementation of stricter ads rule is not only meant to keep the credibility of USA presidential election alone, but also this year’s China’s national election and European union election.
However, every eye is waiting to see how effective the change will be, and some people have already started doubting how efficient the rules can be. This is based on, among others, some of the academics’ opinion that Facebook’s system is not efficient enough and hat it is full of bugs and technical issues.
The doubts have also been increased after a discovery that a specific advertiser found a way to use the platform for political ads without the knowledge of Facebook.