Facebook Takes Tougher Line on Ad Transparency

In an effort to make those running ‘the adverts “accountable for who they say they are and what they say to various groups, Facebook has said that it will make its advertising more transparent.

It came after last month when Facebook admitted that a group connected to Russia had spent a minimum of $100,000 (£76,000) on adverts in what seemed to be an effort to influence the presidential election of the United States.

According to Facebook, the said operation involved at least 3,000 adverts, focusing on divisive subjects, including race and gun rights, which were released at fundamental points in the election.

Next week, General Counsel Colin stretch is expected to appear in front of a US congressional committee in Russian advertising spend during the presidential election.

Facebook is not the only firm which has faced these types of issues, with Twitter also banning two Russian media outlets from advertising on its network on Tuesday after US intelligence said that those outlets were part of an attempt to disrupt the election.

In its update on Friday, the tech giant said that it is developing a system whereby users are allowed to click on a page to view the adverts that the page is sending to numerous target groups on its site. Advertisers will also need to provide more thorough documentation when they require running adverts during an election and may need to identify their entity and location.

The said trial will start in Canada next month, and then it will be expanded to the United States by summer in 2018, in time for the midterm elections of the United States in November. It will then be extended “broadly to all other countries.”

Fears over Russian meddling through Facebook has not been restricted to the United States. Earlier this week, UK MPs commanded Facebook hand over evidence that is linked to Russia in the run-up to the European Union referendum and the general election in June.

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sports committee is looking for examples of adverts that were bought by Facebook, and information on the costs of those adverts

In the past, Mark Zuckerberg,  Facebook chief executive claimed that it “just wouldn’t be realistic” to end all interference in election campaigns on Facebook.