Wired: Facebook Imposes New Restrictions on Ads and Popular Pages

As Facebook tries to make itself over before CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies to Congress next week, the company is announcing several new authentication requirements for ads and Pages. Zuckerberg also firmly endorsed the Senate's pending Honest Ads Act, a bipartisan piece of legislation that would cement many of these policies into law.

In a post on his Facebook page Friday, Zuckerberg announced that in addition to requiring political advertisers to be verified before posting ads, Facebook will require anyone buying "issue ads" to undergo the same process. This substantially broadens the scope of Facebook's ad vetting, as it would cover not just ads explicitly about elections and candidates, but those about hot-button political issues like immigration or LGBT rights. Zuckerberg also announced that going forward, Facebook will require Pages with "large numbers of followers" to authenticate themselves, and will provide followers of each Page additional details on its history.


These changes will put Facebook ad disclosures on par with the types of disclosures currently required of political ads on radio and TV, says Brendan Fischer, director of Federal Election Commission reform at the Campaign Legal Center. “Because there’s really no transparency requirements for digital ads at all right now, anything that would bring more transparency to digital ads would be a step forward,” Fischer said.

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