Facebook Increases Transparency for Political Ads in South Africa and Zambia

Image sourced from Reuters.

Starting June 29 2021, Facebook will launch enforcement on ads about elections or politics in Zambia and South Africa.

As a result, anyone running ads about political figures, political parties, the election or “Get out the vote” campaigns must go through the ad authorization process by verifying their identity with a government-issued photo ID, confirming their location in those countries and advertisers are required to provide more information about the person or organization responsible for the ad to place “Paid for by” disclaimers on these ads.

This includes any person creating, modifying, publishing, or pausing ads that reference ads about elections or politics. Ads will also be entered into Facebook’s Ad Library for seven years.

While political ads play an important role in every election, people have told Facebook they want the option to see fewer of these on their Facebook and Instagram feeds.

Earlier this year, Facebook announced a new control feature that allows people to have more control over the ads they see on Facebook.

This feature gives people a choice to see fewer electoral and political ads with “Paid for by” disclaimers in Zambia or South Africa.

To enable the electoral and political ads controls, people can adjust their ad topic preferences:

  1. Visit Ad Preferences then click Ad Topics.
  2. Under the list of Ad Topics, you’ll see a list of topics including Social Issues, Elections or Politics.
  3. Across from Social Issues, Elections or Politics, click See Fewer.

People can only turn off electoral and political ads with disclaimers by clicking on the top of these ads in their feed.

“We believe that more transparency leads to increased accountability and responsibility for both Facebook and advertisers, which is good for people and businesses alike. Political ads play an important role in every election,” said Facebook’s Head of Public Policy, Southern Africa, Nomonde Gongxeka-Seopa, commenting on the new feature.

“Our work to help protect elections is never done, but we believe changes like these continue to move us in the right direction.

For more details on how to get authorized to run social issues, electoral, and political ads, click here and select your country from the drop-down list.

You can also learn more about authorizations in this digital one-sheeter and step-by-step video.

Edited by Luis Monzon
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