Facebook is making Ads and Pages more transparent

Facebook will additionally require that those who manage "large pages" will have to be verified, too, making it more hard for people using fake accounts to run pages and "to grow virally and spread misinformation or divisive content", according to Zuckerberg's post. By increasing transparency around ads and Pages on Facebook, we can increase accountability for advertisers improving our service for everyone, Facebook said. Advertisers behind such ads must also reveal who paid for the ads to viewers.

The new rules will be launched in the USA and will expand to the rest of the world in the coming months. Advertisers will be prohibited from running political ads - electoral or issue-based - until they are authorised. Earlier this week, we took down a large network of Russian fake accounts that included a Russian news organization.

Those ads targeted Facebook users on hot-button subjects including gun rights, gay rights, religion and presidential candidates Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Under what criteria Facebook would "authorize" ad buyers, the company did not say directly in the post.

The social network's announcement Friday could allay concerns of election experts and lawmakers that ads about hot-button social issues meant to be divisive and foment voter outrage might still slip through, leaving a unsafe weak spot on the network.

For even more transparency in political ads, Facebook has also built a tool that lets anyone see all of the ads a page is now running. The new updates are created to prevent future abuse in elections - and to help ensure you have the information that you need to assess political and issue ads, as well as content on Pages. In November, Facebook turned over dozens of the ads to Congressional investigators, and it says it has purged hundreds of "inauthentic" accounts and pages linked to Russian trolls from the site.

"To get authorized by Facebook, advertisers will need to confirm their identity and location", they said. And now, they are extending that requirement to anyone that wants to show "issue ads" - like political topics that are being debated across the country. Mark Warner, D-Va., who along with Sens.

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The bill's sponsors said they welcomed Facebook's support. "That's why today's announcement by Facebook is so important, and I would encourage all of the platform companies to follow suit as we work toward making the Honest Ads Act the law of the land, ensuring that political ads sold online abide by the same disclosure rules as TV and radio ads".

In addition to identity verification of advertisers, Zuckerberg said Facebook also will require proof of identification for people who manage large pages. We started testing the authorisation process this week, and people will begin seeing the label and additional information in the United States later this spring, it said. The legislation would also require online platforms to make "all reasonable efforts" to ensure that foreign nationals and entities are not buying political ads to influence the USA electorate.

Zuckerberg said "thousands" of people would be hired to get the verifications up and running in time for the "critical months" before 2018 elections in the US, Mexico, Brazil, India and Pakistan.

In recent days, Zuckerberg and Facebook have publicly attempted to face the fallout and scrutiny from a burgeoning crisis.

Facebook said Wednesday that the number of users whose data was swept up by Cambridge Analytica could be as high as 87 million, significantly more than the figure of 50 million that was widely reported at the outset of the data scandal more than two weeks ago.

"When we received word that this researcher gave the data to Cambridge Analytica, they assured us it was deleted", she said. Users will also be shown additional context about Pages to effectively assess their content. In February, special counsel Robert Mueller indicted Russian entities for meddling in the USA election with social media schemes that enabled, for instance, users in Russia to engineer fake rallies and protests across the country. But the 470 Russian accounts previously kicked off Facebook had pushed Russian propaganda that reached 150 million Americans.

Separately, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg offered fresh apologies to users for failing to do enough on privacy and data protection. Sandberg did several interviews later in the week and appeared on Today Friday morning.

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