TwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle+

Facebook tightens political ad rules, but leaves loopholes

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook is tightening its rules around political advertising ahead of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, acknowledging previous misuse. But it’s not clear if it will be enough to stop bad actors from abusing its system.

The changes include a tightened verification process that will require anyone wanting to run ads pertaining to elections, politics or big social issues like guns and immigration to confirm their identity and prove they are in the U.S. Beginning in mid-September, such advertisers confirm their group’s identity using their organization’s tax identification number or other government ID.

The verified group name will be listed on the “paid for by” disclaimers that disclose the backers of ads. Facebook says it will verify this information against government records and will note in the disclaimer for confirmed ads that they’re placed by a “confirmed organization.”

That process won’t apply to everyone, as Facebook says it would bar some smaller but legitimate groups from advertising. But a loophole that will allow small grassroots groups and local politicians to run political ads could also continue to allow bad actors to take advantage of the process.

Advertisers who don’t have tax ID numbers, government websites or registrations with the Federal Election Commission will still be able to post ads by providing an address, verifiable phone number, business email and website. These advertisers won’t get a “confirmed” designation. Previously, only a U.S. address was required. But it’s not inconceivable that bad actors will find a way to spoof phone numbers and email addresses.

“We’ve acknowledged that these tools will not be perfect,” Sarah Schiff, a Facebook product manager, said in an email. “But we are committed to making it more difficult for bad actors to misuse and abuse our platform” without penalizing smaller organizations.
Schiff also reiterated the company’s calls for regulation of online political advertising. Critics have said that Facebook’s attempts at self-regulation are merely a way for the company to pre-empt stricter government crackdowns.

Last month, Facebook was ordered to pay a $5 billion fine to the Federal Trade Commission over privacy violations. It also faces a series of other investigations into its privacy practices in Europe and across the U.S., in addition to new investigations into its allegedly anticompetitive behavior, such as the social network’s habit of buying would-be rivals like Instagram and blatantly duplicating features introduced by competing services.

While the company has beefed up its fight against misinformation and coordinated attacks by malicious nation-states, the same can be said for those trying to game its systems. After revelations that that Russians bankrolled thousands of fake political ads during the 2016 elections, Facebook and other social networks faced intense pressure to ensure that doesn’t happen again.

In late 2017, Facebook said it will verify political ad buyers by requiring them to confirm their names and locations, the latter by receiving a postcard with a confirmation code at a U.S. address. Page administrators also had to be verified.

But critics said the rules were easy to evade. Last fall, for instance, Vice News was able to place ads on behalf of the likes of Vice President Mike Pence and the Islamic State, which were all approved by Facebook.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

VIDEO NEWS

National Politics

Is America ready for gay president? Iowa casts first votes

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The question posed to Pete Buttigieg — gay, married and…

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg heads to Washington

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will be in Washington Thursday to meet…

Court calls US “enhanced interrogation techniques” torture

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal court in San Francisco took the unusual step of…

Trump dismisses whistleblower complaint as ‘hack job’

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump irritably defended himself Friday against an intelligence whistleblower’s potentially…

STATE & LOCAL POLITICS

Orange County’s “Don’t Pitch It-Fix It!” Event Urges Residents to Salvage Stuff

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Orange County's Environmental Protection Division is celebrating National Pollution Prevention…

Pulse Survivor Brandon Wolf, FL Leaders Slam Trump’s Broken Promises On Gun Violence

ORLANDO, F.L. — On a press call Thursday afternoon, the Florida Democratic Party and the…

Governor Ron DeSantis Meets with Financial Industry Leaders in Chicago

Chicago, IL. – This week, Governor Ron DeSantis met with Chicago leaders in the financial…

Orlando Mayor Dyer, Commissioner Ortiz Launch Hispanic Heritage Month at City Hall

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - To celebrate the commencement of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September…

FNN POLITICS & POWER SERIES

FNN SPORTS

  • The Carolina Hurricanes face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena Tuesday. Photo: Doug Clifford/Tampa Bay Times.
    TAMPA BAY (FNN SPORTS) - NHL Preseason Prediction: Lightning vs. Hurricanes (Photo: Doug Clifford/Tampa Bay Times)

MORE SPORTS NEWS

Panthers QB Newton ruled out for Sunday’s game vs Arizona

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Panthers will be counting on second-year quarterback Kyle Allen to…

NHL: Penalties Kill Tampa Bay Lightning in 3-0 Shutout Loss to Carolina Hurricanes

TAMPA BAY, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - Although our Florida National News fans voted in the…

NHL Preseason Prediction: Lightning vs. Hurricanes

TAMPA BAY, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - Hockey is back, which means fall is in full…

NFL Week 2 Recap: History Repeats Itself in Browns Win Against Jets

NEW YORK, N.Y. (FNN SPORTS) - Monday night's bittersweet Cleveland Browns 23-3 win against the…

Walt Disney World Resort Sponsors the UCF Knights

ORLANDO, Fla. –  With a new sponsorship agreement, Walt Disney World Resort hopes to spread some…

NFL Week 2 Recap: Buccaneers Resurgent Against Panthers on the Road

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FNN SPORTS) - The Buccaneers knew Thursday night’s game against the Carolina Panthers…

BUSINESS NEWS

  • An African American family has fun flexing for the camera at Universal Orlando Resort.
    ORLANDO (FNN NEWS) - Universal Orlando Resort Reveals First-Time Passholder Appreciation Days Perks

MORE BUSINESS NEWS

Mass Shootings Give Rise to Bullet-Resistant Backpacks

NEW YORK (AP) — Companies like Guard Dog Security, TuffyPacks and Bullet Blocker are peddling…

Universal Orlando Resort Reveals Passholder Appreciation Days Perks

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Source: Universal // Universal Orlando Resort revealed that for the…

Orlando Continues to Support Small Businesses

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Small businesses play such an important role in the economies…

S&P 500 posts its worst week of 2019 as trade tensions flare

Investors rattled by President Donald Trump’s latest escalation in his trade war with China drove…

ID theft stings, but it’s hard to pin on specific data hacks

NEW YORK (AP) — Equifax 2017. Marriott 2018. Capital One 2019. Data breaches through hacking attacks…

Apple Announces New Batch of Emojis on World Emoji Day

Cupertino, CA (FNN NEWS) — July 17th is National Emoji Day! What better way to celebrate…

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

  • NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Taylor Swift says she’s kicking off Pride Month by asking Tennessee’s Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander to protect LGBTQ rights and support the Equality Act.

MORE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Judge won’t return R. Kelly bond money to woman who paid it

CHICAGO (AP) — A judge in R. Kelly’s Illinois sexual assault case has refused to…

Halloween in Orlando Starts in September

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - It may only be September, but Halloween is already in…

“Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle” Now Open at Universal Orlando Resort

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Source: Universal Orlando Resort // The darker side of the…

Jordan, Foxx debut injustice drama ‘Just Mercy’ at film fest

TORONTO (AP) — The starry based-on-a-true-story social-justice tale “Just Mercy” made a powerful impression in…

Ariana Grande Accused of Stealing a Drag Queen’s Likeness After Suing Forever 21 for Trademark Infringement

Arianna Grande recently sued fashion retailer Forever 21 for $10 million claiming the brand launched…

Ariana Grande Sues Forever 21 for $10 Million Over Trademark Infringement

TMZ reports that Pop singer Ariana Grande has filed a lawsuit against Forever 21 over…

LIFESTYLE: TRAVEL, TOURISM, THEME PARKS

  • LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - 26th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Blooms for 90 Days at Walt Disney World Resort (Photo courtesy Walt Disney World)

MORE LIFESTYLE NEWS

Orange County’s “Don’t Pitch It-Fix It!” Event Urges Residents to Salvage Stuff

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Orange County's Environmental Protection Division is celebrating National Pollution Prevention…

Halloween in Orlando Starts in September

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - It may only be September, but Halloween is already in…

“Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle” Now Open at Universal Orlando Resort

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Source: Universal Orlando Resort // The darker side of the…

Universal Orlando Resort Rolls Out New Year’s Eve Celebrations Across the Entire Destination

ORLANDO, Fla. – At Universal Orlando Resort, New Year’s Eve isn’t just another holiday – it’s…

Orlando Mayor Dyer, Commissioner Ortiz Launch Hispanic Heritage Month at City Hall

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - To celebrate the commencement of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September…

Disney: Arnold Palmer’s 90th Birthday

Walt Disney World Resort joined other golf courses and the Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation…