Facebook brings transparency to political ads ahead of elections

Facebook political ads

With an aim to creating a new standard of transparency and authenticity for political advertising on Facebook and Instagram, the social media mammoth bring more transparency to Instagram & Facebook political ads in India.

Ahead of India’s general elections, Facebook making changes to ads that reference political figures, political parties, elections and ads that advocate for or against legislation. These plans were first announced in December last year.

  • People will begin to see political ads with “Published by” or “Paid for by” disclaimers that have been specified by advertisers. This will give people more information about who’s responsible for the ads they
  • People can access a searchable Ad Library to learn more about ads related to politics, including range of impressions and spend and demographics of who saw the

In the coming weeks, people will start seeing the country  locations of the people managing Pages that run  political ads  to better understand the origin of the Page.

Ad Disclaimer

Political ads will include a “Published by” or “Paid for by” disclaimer provided by advertisers at the top of the ad. Facebook has used the “Paid for by” disclaimer when rolling out this feature in other countries and have added the “Published by” disclaimer in India as it’s more consistent with local political advertising.

For the disclaimer, authorized advertisers can name themselves, a Page they run or another organization as the entity behind the ad. If they name another organization, Facebook will require additional credentials — like a phone number,   email and website OR a  Media  Certification  & Monitoring Committee Certificate from India’s Elections Committee.  This is to help make sure the organization cited is authentic.

Ad Library

When a person clicks on the disclaimer, they’ll be taken to a searchable Ad Library where they can see the ad’s creative, start and end date, and performance data, including range of impressions, range of spend, and information about who saw the ad, like age, gender and location across India. The disclaimer credentials will also appear in the Ad Library. The Ad Library archives political ads for up to seven years and is available to anyone, regardless of whether they are logged into Facebook or not at facebook.com/ads/archive. In March, India will also have its own Ad Library Report, which helps more easily view insights about the ads in the library.

Enforcement and How to Report Ads

Enforcement of these new features and the Political Ads policy begins February 21. At that point, only advertisers who have completed authorizations and disclosed who’s responsible for an ad will be allowed to run political ads in India. Facebook will remove political ads running without a disclaimer in News Feed and will place them in the Ads Library.

Our systems won’t catch every political ad that runs — so reports from others will be key. If people come across an ad and think it should include a disclaimer, they can tap the three dots at the top right-hand corner of the ad, and select “Report ad.” “If  we find  the ad  relates to  politics, we’ll  remove it and add it to  the Library, where it will be accessible for seven years,” their official blog said.

News publishers who are members of or appear in recognized industry groups and lists — or who have been validated by official sources in India — are not subject to the authorizations, transparency and enforcement requirements provided by the policy.

More Page Transparency

Facebook wants people to know more about the Pages running these ads. This month, Facebook will start showing the primary country location of the people who manage Pages running or paying for political ads in India. This information can be found in the Page’s “Info and Ads” section, along with all the ads the Page is currently running, even if they’re not targeted to you.

“We are also making it harder for people to administer a Page in India using a fake or compromised account. In the coming weeks, people who manage Pages with a large audience in India will need to secure their account with two- factor authentication and confirm their primary country location to be able to continue to post to their Pages,” Facebook further added.