Political advertising rules that were implemented elsewhere are now in effect

Facebook is bringing its political advertising tools and rules to Canada in advance of that country’s federal election Oct. 21.

Anyone who wants to run ads about social issues, elections or politics in Canada must first confirm their identity and location and disclose who is paying for the ads, similar to rules the social network already implemented in Australia, the European Union, the U.K. and the U.S.

Advertisers can fill in the “Paid for by” disclaimed with themselves, pages they run or other organizations, and should they choose the latter, they will be required to provide additional information, such as phone number, email and website.

The authorization process is also required for ads related to civil and social rights, the economy, environmental politics, health, immigration, political values and governance, as Facebook said those issues were identified by local experts as topics that could influence elections.

Facebook said Canada election law requires an agent name for some advertisers, so it will allow that, as well.

The social network is extending its Ad Library to Canada, and ads from authorized advertisers will be stored there for seven years, along with their disclaimers and agent information. People can access Ad Library for information on specific ads such as range of impressions and spend, as well as demographic information about people who saw the ad, including age, gender and location.

Facebook also revealed in a blog post detailing the steps it is taking in Canada that it is renaming its “Ads Related to Politics or Issues of National Importance” policy worldwide, and the new name is “Ads About Social Issues, Elections or Politics.”

The social network wrote, “This new name better describes the topics discussed at all levels of civic and public life, as well as the broad array of groups participating in these conversations and placing ads on Facebook. Many of those groups include community organizations, nonprofits, businesses, film studios and corporations—not just people running for office.”

Finally, Facebook is extending its news page index to Canada, and publishers must be included on that index and meet additional criteria before they are exempted from the social network’s political ad rules.

Publishers will still be required to undergo the authorization process and add “Paid for by” disclaimers to ads containing option content, such as publisher endorsements or content about social issues, elections or politics.

The social network said, “We will continue to refine and improve our policies and tools as part of our commitment to help protect the integrity of elections.”

Read full article here.

David Cohen – Ad Week – June 10, 2019.

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