The Mercury News: Facebook Will Now Vet Anyone Who Wants to Buy Political Ads on Its Platform
CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post that anyone who seeks to purchase a political or “issue ad” on the social network will need to verify who they are and where they are from. Zuckerberg says this action was necessary to ensure fairer elections around the globe in the next year, including the November midterm elections in the United States.
This verification process will begin in the United States and expand into other countries in the near future, according to Zuckerberg. Facebook broadly defined an “issue ad” as those on hot topic political topics and will work with third parties to develop a list of these issues.
Zuckerberg also voiced his support for the Honest Ads Act, which proposes increased disclosure requirements for online political ads. Facebook previously demurred from supporting or opposing the bill, which was proposed by three Democratic and Republican Senators.
“Mr. Zuckerberg’s support for the bipartisan Honest Ads Act is a big step in the right direction, and we hope he uses his testimony next week to encourage Congress to pass that important bill,” said Trevor Potter, director of the Campaign Legal Center, in a statement. “The protection of American elections from foreign interference cannot be left to voluntary measures by tech companies. To effectively safeguard our democracy, Congress must act.”