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Facebook delays rollout of political ads transparency tool



Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

  • Facebook is delaying the launch of a tool showing who
    is paying for political advertising on its platform in the
  • The tool was meant to roll out on November 7, but now
    Facebook says it will launch “in the next month.”
  • It follows a flurry of investigations from Business
    Insider, Vice, and ProPublica exposing the flaws in Facebook’s
    ad library system. 

Facebook is delaying the launch of a tool showing who is behind
political ads in the UK after news outlets, including Business
Insider, exposed the system’s flaws.

The company was
meant to launch its new ad transparency tool on November 7
but told The Guardian that it
would now be rolled out “in the next month.”

In a statement sent to Business Insider, it said: 

“Since we announced our political ads authorisation and Ad
Library in October we have seen hundreds of people go through the
authorisation process. Authorised advertisers create a ‘Paid for
by’ disclaimer as part of this process and we require them to
represent themselves accurately when they fill this in.

“We have learnt that some people may try to game the disclaimer
system by entering inaccurate details and have been working to
improve our review process to detect and prevent this kind of
abuse. Once we have strengthened our process for ensuring the
accuracy of disclaimers, we will be introducing enforcement
systems to identify political advertisers and require them to go
through the authorisation process.

“We will continue roll out and refine these systems out over the
next month so that we have a higher level of protection in place
before next May’s local elections.”

Read more:

We ran 2 fake ads pretending to be Cambridge Analytica — and
Facebook failed to catch that they were frauds

Facebook launched its ad library in October, but political
advertisers were to have until November 7 to self-identify, after
which the process would become compulsory.

But investigations from journalists showed that Facebook’s
self-identification process was far from foolproof. Business
Insider successfully placed
two fake adverts purporting to be from disgraced political
consultancy Cambridge Analytica
, which is now banned from
Facebook following the data-scraping scandal.

Vice disclosed ads
claiming to be 100 US senators
, as well as
Vice President Mike Pence and ISIS
also reported
that pro-Trump ads being run on Facebook
claimed to be published by “Energy4US” were, in fact, a front for
a big oil trade association.

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