Sat, Feb 09, 2019 - Page 5 News List

Facebook toughens political ad policies in India before polls

Reuters, NEW DELHI

Facebook Inc is toughening up the rules governing political advertisements in India to create more transparency ahead of the country’s general elections due before May, the social media giant said late on Thursday.

Users would see political advertisements with “published by” and “paid by” disclaimers, the Menlo Park, California-headquartered company said in a statement.

The move comes weeks after Facebook said it would extend some of its political advertising rules and tools for curbing election interference to India, Nigeria, Ukraine and the EU before significant votes in these places in the next few months.

Users would be able to access a library that allows them to search and find out more about political advertisements, such as how much is spent on them and the demographics of advertising views, the company said.

People would soon also be able to see country locations of users who manage Facebook pages that carry political ads.

“By increasing transparency around ads and pages on Facebook, we hope to increase accountability for advertisers, help people assess the content they’re seeing and prevent future abuse in elections,” the company said.

The new features and policy take effect on Feb. 21.

The moves are part of Facebook’s attempts to reshape its public image which took a beating last year after a privacy scandal involving British data consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

The company has also faced intense pressure from India, one of the world’s biggest Internet markets, to curb the spread of misinformation through its WhatsApp messenger, which has led to a spate of killings.

Facebook said it is also making it tougher to run a page using a fake account by introducing two-factor authentication and by asking for page administrators’ primary country location.

Facebook has over the past few years been effectively used globally by politicians and their adversaries to distribute fake news and other propaganda.

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