After months of reports that Russia used social networks to sway the public opinion in the previous U.S. presidential election, Facebook finally confirmed recently that at least ten million users in the United States saw Russia-linked political ads that spread divisive views. It’s widely believed that the ads helped widen the rift between the political sides during the elections. Facebook has since taken a number of steps to clamp down on foreign influence of this nature. It has now said that all political advertisers will have to disclose their identities.

“That level of transparency is good for democracy and it’s good for the electoral process,” Facebook says. The social network has also introduced new steps to improve transparency for all kinds of advertising.

Starting November, users will be able to click “View Ads” on a Page and view the ads that Page is running on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. This will be able to view those ads even if they’re not in the intended targeted audience for those ads.

The social network is also going to build an archive of federal-election related ads which will enable it to show both current and historical election-related ads.

For each federal-election related ad, it’s also going to provide details on the amount spent, number of impressions delivered, demographics information, and include it in a searchable archive that will cover a rolling four-year period.

Facebook will now require all ads be associated with a Page as part of the ad creation process. This will first be tested in Canada and will eventually be rolled out in the United States by the summer next year, ahead of the midterm elections in November. The new transparency features will also be rolled out in other countries across the globe around the same time.

Filed in Web. Read more about Facebook.

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