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Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter Refresh Political Ad Guidelines

05/30/2018

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Days before the U.S. Memorial Day holiday, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter followed Google's lead by announcing big changes to the way political and other types of ads and content will appear and become searchable on their respective advertising network, as well as the type of information accessible to advertisers and consumers.

A “paid for by” label will appear on all political and issue ads running on Facebook and Instagram in the U.S. and its publicly searchable archive that ran in the United States.

The move continues the company’s trek into enforcing regulations and rules surrounding its advertising platform.

Similar to new rules put in place by Google AdWords for political and rehabilitation ad categories, advertisers wanting to run ads with political content in the U.S. will need to verify their identity and location. The new policies listed in a blog post apply to more than political issues and candidates. It covers a range of ad topics, from abortion to crime, education, energy, environment, foreign policy, and government reform to guns, health, immigration, military, terrorism and more.

For seven years, the ads archive will remain searchable by keyword, along with the ad’s number, the number of people who viewed the ad, along with some anonymized data such as gender and age.

Facebook’s post also explains its investments in more people and better technology to identify abuse. It’s also asking people to report unlabeled ads with political content.

Twitter also reported on Thursday it would increase transparency for election-based ads with a new Political Campaigning Policy in the United States and no longer allow foreign national to target political ads to people identified as being in the U.S.

New company rules require advertisers wanting to run ads on Twitter to “self-identify and certify that they are located in the U.S.”

Candidates and committees must provide their FEC ID, and non-FEC registered organizations and individuals will have to submit a notarized form.

The second step in the process will require Twitter to send a letter to the mailing address registered with the FEC, business or the individual to validate the identity and location of all political campaigning advertisers.

A visual badge and disclaimer on promoted content from certified accounts will be required in the near future. It will allow users to identify political campaigns at a glance, know who paid for them, and verify authorization by a candidate.

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