First Twitter, Now Facebook: Company Introduces New Political Ad Transparency Policy

Facebook must’ve seen this tweet, published three days ago by a ProPublica journalist after Twitter unveiled a sweeping new transparency policy that included new disclosure rules for “political” and “issues-based” ads...

...because Mark Zuckerberg’s social-media behemoth on Friday announced a virtually identical policy requiring more detailed disclosures not just for political and issues-based ads, but all ads being run by a given page.

Like Twitter, Facebook is trying out its policy in a test market (Facebook’s test market is Canada) before rolling it out in the US and worldwide. The policy, Facebook noted, will be in effect before the 2018 mid-term election.

During the initial test, Facebook will only show active ads. However, when it expands to the US, it plans to begin building an archive of federal-election related ads so that it can show both current and historical federal-election related ads. In addition, for each federal-election related ad, Facebook plans to....

  • Include the ad in a searchable archive that, once full, will cover a rolling four-year period – starting from when we launch the archive.
  • Provide details on the total amounts spent.
  • Provide the number of impressions that delivered.
  • Provide demographics information (e.g. age, location, gender) about the audience that the ads reached.

In addition, buyers of political ads will need to complete an enhanced verification process.

As Joel Kaplan mentioned, we’re going to require more thorough documentation from advertisers who want to run election-related ads. We are starting with federal elections in the US, and will progress from there to additional contests and elections in other countries and jurisdictions. As part of the documentation process, advertisers may be required to identify that they are running election-related advertising and verify both their entity and location.


Once verified, these advertisers will have to include a disclosure in their election-related ads, which reads: “Paid for by.” When you click on the disclosure, you will be able to see details about the advertiser. Like other ads on Facebook, you will also be able to see an explanation of why you saw that particular ad.

And like Zuckerberg said in September, Facebook is developing machine learning tools to root out potentially fraudulent ad purchases in an attempt to crack down on the type of behavior that resulted in Facebook selling $100,000 in political ads to a reportedly Russia-linked troll farm.

The announcements comes as Facebook’s general counsel (along with his counterparts at Twitter and Google)  is preparing to testify next week before a joint meeting of the House and Senate intelligence committees.

As we’ve noted in the past, this policy represents a dramatic reversal of the company’s efforts to avoid exactly these types of disclosures. Back in 2011, the company hired Clinton attorney Marc Elias, who successfully lobbied the FEC to exempt Facebook from adding disclaimers to political ads, setting a legal precedent that equated social-media ads with campaign buttons and bumper stickers.

Now, we wait to hear from Google. But in the meantime, screenshots of the disclaimers are beginning to surface…




Blue Steel 309 Stan Smith Fri, 10/27/2017 - 14:06 Permalink

"Private Corporations".. What the hell is a private corporation, anyways? They are anything but "private", any way you slice it.

... being exempt from Bill of Rights, maybe defensible from the legal standpoint of our Bar based legal system, but that just means we need new laws to close that loophole.

When you corporations are making the laws, and corporations can punish you for having speaking against their own political interests, we no longer have anything close to a free society. We have exactly what the 1st Amendment was written to prevent.

Consequences for having the wrong personal/political opinion
-lose you job
-lose your reputation
-lose opportunities
-lose your wealth (in some scenarios using malicious lawsuits)
-lose your freedom (non-compete)

Corporate tyranny is already here to pick up the slack for the government that is still pretending it is constitutionally legitimate.

In reply to by Stan Smith

Insurrector A Sentinel Fri, 10/27/2017 - 15:19 Permalink

Huge fucking nothing burger.  Just saying Zuckerberg is red meat to the Neanderthal brains enclosed in thick skulls.How does revealing the identify of political advertisers cause such wrath? Anonymity, like here on ZH, just encourages virtual bullying, libel, and disinformation.  If you aren't man enough to voice your opinion to a large audience without a mask, then STFU.  If you want to whistleblow, contact a reporter.  If there is truth behind your claim, or validity behind your opinion, you can find a way to publicize it through the media.  Even if it is 'alternative truth', Faux News is ther to incubate your vast left wing conspiracies, so your nutjob utterances have a home.Be acountable for your words if you want to influence electoral opnion.  Citizens United was a very bad thing for our electoral process.  Easy to hurl untruths if you hide behind a mask.Besides which, Facebook and Twitter are free - they aren't public infrastructure.  The companies own it - so they can do what they want.  Don't like it,don't use those platforms.Fucking deplorable zombies!

In reply to by A Sentinel

GreatUncle Fri, 10/27/2017 - 14:00 Permalink

Not interested don't do Facebook then I do not have to give it a second thought and advise others to do the same.Next election Facebook with its discrimination policies in place will now be the king maker.But with all the power in the world making all the decisions who is responsible when it all goes wrong? Zuckerberg.

Stan522 Fri, 10/27/2017 - 14:01 Permalink

If political ads were so great and affective, then the millions of dollars of ads that hillary ran would have elected her.... This is all about NOTHING.....!

Manipuflation Fri, 10/27/2017 - 14:10 Permalink

No more caucuses in MN.  Now primary.  They will make sure that you can't stand and give speech and be elected.  Invite only.  That is your "democracy" for you.

Mr Perspective Fri, 10/27/2017 - 14:11 Permalink

Seriously, who gives a damn? The pair are nothing but useless, intrusive annoyances like that fly that won't leave you alone on a hot summer night.  Did you ask for twitter and fb bugs littering up your screen everywhere you go?  Do you need the constant reminder of their presence?  Why do some news websites have a tendency to double-post twitter messages like they are translating them or something? If one day they suddenly disappeared would you miss them or would you rejoice in reclaiming all that lost time spent negotiating around their constant hovering? Is every goddamn move the Zuckershit makes newsworthy?  Will the Trump Presidential Library of the future be nothing but a barrage of tweets?History will surely not judge this period well...

Rex Andrus Fri, 10/27/2017 - 14:37 Permalink

The legalese meaning of "transparency" is just like "rights" or "freedom". What it means is arbitrary, cummulative, increasing constricting, retroactive court rules to legitimize refusing disclosure, rights and freedom to anyone for any reason and to countersue anybody who questions whatever criminal acts are shielded by the "transparency". Crying while countersuing is not required but aliens do it instinctively. Buuulllshiiit

Mike Masr Fri, 10/27/2017 - 14:41 Permalink

I seldom go on my Facebook account.One thing I noticed the other day.When there is anything positive about Trump, or anything funny and or negative about Hillary there is no "Share" tab.If it's a nasty shitty post about Trump there is a "Share" tab.I liked the Tucker Carlson page. You can't share anything from Tucker Carlson's Group. So you can only share stuff that has a leftist commie spin on FB.Fuck Facebook! 

scatha Fri, 10/27/2017 - 14:46 Permalink

Twitter tried to sell RT millions of dollars of ads now banned RT what the cowardly little oligarchic weasels. those mofos from SV censoring free speech. This is a message for you: FUCK YOU! The oligarchs class has to be eradicated without prejudice since it is a scorch of the earth and parasite of human civilization. No man, woman or child has no reason in the world to have wealth of one billion dollars or more even if he/she is a superman or woman, king of beheaders or epidermic queen of sloth, honest thief or thieving banker, Hollywood fickle celebrity on drugs or hard headed propagandist pundit living on booze, dwarf genius from Google or detestable retarded robot from Assbook,  oracle from Nebraska or decomposing Hungarian Jew from London,   free market worshiping grocery monopolist or free trade worshiping IP protectionist,  crooked senator or lying politician,  former corrupted government official selling access or army general selling weapons, former disgraced president or current disgraced president. Nobody, I say nobody deserves to control wealth of one billion dollars or more for any reason at all and all remaining oligarchs with less than a billion dollars must come up with pretty good explanation for how and why they stole it from blood, sweat and tears of millions of hard working people in the world before they loose it and return from their sick delusional dream of grandeur and superhumanity into physical and social reality shared by all of us. If it happens it would be good for their mental health. I guarantee that. They will no longer want to rule the world, telling people what to do and what to say, or blast themselves into pieces of oligarchic fodder via hyperlooping their asses to directly Saint Francis or spaceoneing themselves in to oblivion of vacuum cleaner or Mars but that would actually not be a bad thing for humanity.

Downtoolong Fri, 10/27/2017 - 15:07 Permalink

 You want to talk transparency Zuck? How about you disclose to your users precisely what goes on behind the curtain and inside the clouds at Facebook. Tell your users how much information Facebook has gathered on them; how it psychologically profiles them; how it quantifies their identity and behavior; how it categorically stereotypes them. Show them precisely how Facebook’s sophisticated computer algorithms sell them out (literally and figuratively) by assisting its clients to target, manipulate, and exploit them for profit.  Until you’re ready to do that, don’t even try to sell me your altruistic bullshit about how transparent Facebook intends to be.     

surf@jm Fri, 10/27/2017 - 15:15 Permalink

Of course this policy won`t apply to marxacrats.......And then they will be sued for violating their own rules, and more marxacrat collusion will be revealed.....

Drop-Hammer Fri, 10/27/2017 - 15:30 Permalink

The jews are still hubristic, but are starting to worry.  When they start an Orwellian ad campaign like this, they are worried that da goyim are waking from The Jew Matrix.  

Paul B. Fri, 10/27/2017 - 16:04 Permalink

The transparency shell game.. Just don't criticize @Jack on twitter, or you'll end up shadow-banned. Prager U. just brought suit against youtube, and asserts it has gotten so powerful it shoud be treated as a utility, and regulated.