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Facebook gears up for 2020 US elections with stricter policies for advertisers

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  • 3 min read

Facebook has gained notorious attention regarding data collection in recent years, especially around the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal, where the data of millions of users were used to target and influence their voting behaviour during the 2016 US elections and also during the Brexit votes.

In an effort to improve their image, Facebook then has come up with various transparency measures, including adding ‘;Why I am seeing this post‘ and ‘Why am I seeing this ad‘ tools. In October last year, Facebook announced that it will make the political spending on the website, public.

Also read: How to verify your Facebook page or account

What’s new for organisations?

According to the company, the new update will require the advertises to give more information about their organisation — a process that was started by Facebook back in 2018. With the new update, the advertisers will have to provide 5 more categories of information to Facebook, which include the following:

  • The organisation’s US street address
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Business website matching the email address
  • And any one of the following information — Tax-registered organisation identification number (i.e. EIN), government website domain that matches an email ending in .gov or .mil or Federal Election Commission (FEC) identification number.

The above options are for big businesses and organisations. When they choose any of the first three government resource options — US street address, Phone number, Email address — they will be allowed to use the name of their registered organisation in the disclaimers and the ‘i’ icon on the upper right corner will read as ‘Confirmed Organisation’.


What’s new for individuals?

For small businesses, advertisers and local politicians, Facebook has provided two options.

  • They will have to provide a verifiable phone number, business email, an address along with a business website matching the email.
  • If they do want to provide organisational information, then they can rely on the Page Admin’s legal name (the name which is on their personal identification document). However, in this scenario, the advertiser cannot use a registered organisation’s name in the disclaimers.

For these advertisers, the ‘i’ icon will read ‘About this ad’ instead of ‘Confirmed Organisation’.

The ‘i’ icon will help the users to know more about the ad along with seeing the information that the advertised have registered with Facebook, thus ensuring the legitimacy of the ad and improving the overall transparency of the process.

This update has also changed the list of social issues categories of Facebook. The previous 20 distinct areas have been reduced to a set of 10 categories encompassing a wide and fluid range of discourses.

Also read: How to get featured on Instagram’s Explore tab?

Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here:

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