Facebook Will Vet Any UK Local Election Advertisements in 2019



/ 5 months ago

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Facebook Pledges to vet political advertising in 2019 local elections

Facebook has recently found itself in some hot water over who it allows advertising on their website. Following the UK Brexit and US elections, there have been regular news stories on how they may have been subject to propaganda based advertisements from Russia. The effect these had is unclear. We do know, however, that they did occur.

As such with local elections due in the UK next year, concerns have been raised again over how Facebook will act. In a report via the BBC, however, the social media site wishes to assure all members that while it may host political based advertisements, they will all be subject to vetting before they are placed on the website.

The pledge will be made in person by a company representative at a UK Parliamentary hearing. It will likely not be as awkward as Mark Zuckerberg’s Senate hearing. Perhaps, though, it should be.

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Parliamentary Committee

The UK Parliament originally wished for Mark Zuckerberg to appear. Not only to answer questions about this matter but also regarding the Cambridge Analytica that recently emerged. While he himself has refused to appear, he is sending top company representative Mike Schroepfer.

As part of the pledge, the terms will include that;

  • Political ads will only be allowed if they are submitted by authenticated accounts.
  • Such ads will be labeled as being “political” and it will be made clear who paid for them.
  • The adverts will subsequently be placed in a searchable archive for seven years. Where information will be provided about how many times they may have been seen and how much money was spent on them.

It’s a good step in the right direction. That being said though, the matter will continue to be discussed leading up to the elections and likely after. It’s going to be a long hard road for Facebook to truly win back everyone’s trust.

What do you think about this? Is this a good move by Facebook? Will the UK government be satisfied with this? In addition, do you think the social media site will ever escape this scandal? – Let us know in the comments!

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