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Facebook Election Commission launches new rules on US election publication



Facebook began posting political advertisements on its website Thursday, two years after a Russian troll factory bought ads to influence the 2016 presidential election. The new policy is intended to shed light on the hitherto untapped ways in which politicians and other groups are trying to shun public opinion on elections and political issues. But the self-regulatory approach will be on Facebook and without any public oversight.

The social media giant will need all the election ads and many topical political ads on its platform and on Instagram to reveal the identity of the buyer, the advertising budget, how many people saw the ad and their demographic information ̵

1; Age, location and gender. As of May 7, 2018, all ads will remain available for seven years in a searchable archive.

Users may also post ads that they believe should be publicized as political. The company says it will hire 3,000 to 4,000 content moderators to review these complaints and, if possible, will use machine learning algorithms. (You can read more about this plan on Facebook's blog.)

  Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Interrogates witnesses during a hearing with examples of Facebook pages created in Russia beh.

In addition to ads specifically requesting the election or failure of a candidate, Facebook also targets problem-related advertising. The company said in a blog post that it had collaborated with the Nonpartisan Comparative Agendas Project to select 20 topics covered by disclosure policy, from abortion to foreign policy to social security. For example, an ad requesting the Ministry of Education to ban the use of public student loans to for-profit colleges would need to be announced. An advertisement run by a special for-profit college that the school would not have advertised.

Facebook's new policy follows the announcement of the company to Congress in 2017 that the Internet Research Agency, a Russian digital propaganda company, with both the public and private sectors in the country, bought ads for a number of sites, to inflame the American racial tensions and, depending on the side, favored the election of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Jill Stein or Bernie Sanders. In some cases, these sites bought ads to attract followers in the US and later called for voters to boycott the election. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced plans for the first time to demand political transparency in a speech from Facebook's headquarters in September 2017.

While Facebook's movements are supported by advocates of political online disclosure of advertising, the new policy also shows how the failure of elected officials and regulators, who enforce actual disclosure rules through the democratic process, allow the private sector to exercise its authority enforce in the conduct of US elections.

The failure to regulate this space as a whole is a rather pathetic failure.
John Wonderlich, Executive Director of the Sunlight Foundation

Facebook's new Disclosure Plan is not bound by federal regulations and is not overseen by the Federal Election Commission or the Federal Communications Commission. In 2014, Ann Ravel, then chair of the FEC, proposed a meeting to discuss the disclosure of online ads. Her Republican colleagues denounced her for the suggestion, and conservative news pages claimed she was trying to destroy freedom of expression and censor her views. Ravel received a flood of anti-Semitic death threats and the three FEC Republicans voted against a rule requiring the disclosure of online ads.

"Failure to regulate this space as a whole is a miserable failure," said John Wonderlich, executive director of the charitable Sunlight Foundation, HuffPost said. "So, now we have a regulation of private campaign financing, which is a pretty dystopian gift."

The public is now left with the Facebook Election Commission – and possibly the Google Election Commission and the Twitter Election Commission. Both Google and Twitter have proposed a form of online ad disclosure on their respective platforms after being used by Russian trolls in 2016 as well. Currently, the disclosure of online political advertisements is being balkanized as digital platforms have different policies due to lack of policies

In some cases, this may lead to more disclosure requirements than Congress or FEC would dictate, as in Facebook's broad disclosure issue Advertising is the case. In other cases, the lack of public enforcement is likely to lead to worse results. This also applies to Facebook, which has launched a searchable archive with political ads, which is only accessible with a Facebook account. This means that a person must undergo the terms and conditions of Facebook, including the collection of personally identifiable information, if they wish to learn about election campaigns acquired by US politicians. Rob Learns, Facebook's Product Director, said on Twitter that the company is considering opening the archive to non-users. A Facebook spokesperson said the company would not collect data on users looking for a political ad archive to better target ads.

  Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the House Committee on Energy and Trade in Washington, DC April 11

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), A principal sponsor of the Honest Ads Act, a bipartisan bill on the official launch of online advertising, praised Facebook's decision in a tweet, but mentioned the fundamental problems of industry self-regulation.

is heading in the right direction – and I am glad that Facebook followed my recommendations to improve earlier proposals " Warner tweeted Thursday." I will make other companies follow suit. But until we pass the #HonestAds Act, there will still be a patchwork of social media disclosure. "

So far, the Republican-controlled Congress has refused to push the bill through the committee or vote Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Is a notorious opponent of all campaign funding regulations or publications

Meanwhile, the commissioners of FEC, the nationwide electoral revelation authority, debated on Thursday about publishing a report on their 40th anniversary, which was three years ago . ! Function (f, b, e, v, n, t, s) {if (f.fbq) return, n = f.fbq = function () {n.CallMethod?
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