Facebook is taking its political ad library global as Zuckerberg tries to show that he's not taking sides

Facebook is taking its political ad library global as Zuckerberg tries to show that he's not taking sides
The Mark Zuckerberg-owned social networking platform, Facebook, is taking its politic ads archive globalIANS

  • Facebook is rolling out its Ad Archive globally starting with Ukraine, Argentina, Singapore and Canada.
  • The social network's 'transparency tool' is already present in 50 countries around the world but it still vulnerable to manipulation.
  • In the past, the labeling of political ads and verification of sponsorship has been found to be lacking.
Facebook, the Mark Zuckerberg-owned social networking giant, is going global with its transparency tools. The Facebook Ad Library, which was already in place for around 50 countries — including India — will now be in place for every country where Facebook has presence according to a new post on the Facebook blog.

"We believe that transparency leads to increased accountability and responsibility over time – not just for Facebook but advertisers as well," Sarah Schiff, the Product Manager at Facebook, wrote in the company's blog post.

This means that not only will users be privy to the who is behind the ads on Facebook but advertisers will also have get authorised and add disclaimers to political ads.
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Loopholes remain

The method isn't quite as full proof as Facebook would like to have you believe. In an experiment that Business Insider ran last year, Facebook approved ads that were 'paid for' by Cambridge Analytica even though the company is now defunct and was banned from Facebook at the time.


Even Vice has reported that the social networking platform's political advertising tool can be manipulated, where the publication was able to successfully run an ad sponsored by the Islamic State.

During the European election, a Dutch digital rights organisation claimed that it could easily buy and target political posts at voters in other countries, in spite of the social media giant's stated policies geared at preventing foreign interference in the elections.

Even as recently as during the Indian Lok Sabha Election 2019, it was found that the massive amount of ad labels were actually being put in place by actual humans using the company's 'five dimensions.' Experts told Business Standard that this process, though necessary, may be putting user privacy at risk.

And, the rules don't change

"The authorization process will not change in countries where we've previously launched, and people who previously authorized will not need to reauthorize," Shiff wrote on Facebook's blog.

Despite the many loopholes of the system, Facebook has no plans of upgrading the authorisation process just yet. Starting today, the Facebook Ad Library is going to be initiating its roll out in the Ukraine, Singapore, Canada and Argentina.

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