Facebook tightens issue ads to prevent political ads interference

The CEO of Facebook is instituting more changes including more stringent rules for issue ads as steps to avoid election interference.

The social network giant is taking a cue from lawmakers and other critics who were concerned that Facebook’s focus on political ads might result in a lack of attention to preventing election manipulation through issue ads, which served as a divisive tool for 2016 presidential election.

Mark Zuckerberg stated last Friday that, “every advertiser who wants to run a political or issue ad on Facebook must have their identity and location verified. He added that, any advertiser who doesn’t pass will be prohibited from running political or issue ads. We will also label them and advertisers will have to show who paid for them. We’re starting this in the US and expanding to the rest of the world in the coming months.”

Last fall, Facebook told lawmakers it would tighten its ad policies after disclosing that more than 3,000 ads were bought by 470 fake accounts and pages run by the Internet Research Agency, a shadowy organization in St. Petersburg, Russia. Those ads targeted Facebook users on hot-button subjects including gun rights, gay rights, religion and presidential candidates Trump and Hillary Clinton.