Advertisers to provide verifiable contact details before running campaigns

Date Published: March 30, 2019 Last Updated: March 30, 2019

Advertisers will be required to provide verifiable public contact details before they can run political campaigns on Facebook, the company has announced. This is being done to ensure that there is accountability of all kinds of advertisements. This move is being seen as an additional measure ahead of the European elections in May, when citizens from across the EU will vote in new MEPs. On March 27, Facebook launched political advertising restrictions in the EU27, following partial rollouts in

  • Verifiable contact details will be required to run political campaigns on Facebook ahead of EU elections in May.
  • Facebook will not be actively enforcing the requirement on advertisers who already are registered unless users report them to the company over failure to provide further details. That includes campaigns such as Mainstream Network, which spent an estimated £250,000 on advertising to get Facebook users to urge their MPs to “chuck Chequers” and back a hard Brexit; and Britain’s Future, a group that has spent more than £350,000 pushing for a hard Brexit since October.
  • The verification requirements will launch in all countries where the company operates its political advertising controls, including the US and UK. Verification becomes manadatory in mid-April, while the process for advertisers to be able to register for verification in the EU27 commenced on Friday, Facebook said. Advertisers will also need to be verified separately in each EU country they want to run adverts in.
  • “We believe that more transparency will lead to increased accountability and responsibility over time—not just for Facebook, but for advertisers as well,” said Richard Allan, head of global policy solutions at Facebook.
  • “We’re investing heavily in more people and better technology to proactively identify abuse,” Allan went on. “But if you see an ad which you believe is related to politics or issues and isn’t labelled, please report it. Facebook will review the ad, and if it falls under our political advertising policy, we’ll take it down and add it to the ad library."
    “These changes will not prevent abuse entirely. We’re up against smart, creative and well-funded adversaries who change their tactics as we spot abuse. But we believe that they will help prevent future interference in elections on Facebook",he further stated.