Facebook says that they are doing their best to improve ad transparency and election integrity throughout their ad campaigns with regard to Ads about Social Issues, Elections, or Politics.
In order to achieve this, Facebook has put in safeguards to ensure that anyone running advertising about social issues, elections, or politics is true and legitimate.
Isn’t this great news? Well, it should be!
For advertisers who are using the platform to reach as many people as possible, don’t you agree that Facebook is one of the most powerful platforms ever built to reach users globally?
How effective is Facebook when trying to reach users?
With over 2.85 billion monthly active users as of the first quarter of 2021, there is no second thought that Facebook can be, If not the most powerful way of getting your message across to users and influencing them to take certain actions the way you intend them to.
Facebook discovered that they were able to affect real-world behavior and emotions without ever triggering the user’s awareness. The majority of users are completely clueless that they are being influenced by these social networks…
In a world where fake news spreads 6 times faster than true news, we are being bombarded with so much going on and misinformation.
There has never been a tool as effective as Facebook when it comes to influencing a person’s behavior.
As advertisers, we use Facebook ourselves to take the customer through the journey of the marketing funnel.
From generating brand awareness and interest to offering our latest product or service, Facebook is a great platform to get our message across to users.
Oh and btw! If you are into Netflix documentaries here is one I would definitely recommend you to watch if you have not checked out already.
The Social Dilemma | Official Trailer — It’s about founders and tech experts from major social networks such as Facebook Twitter raising concerns about their own creations.
How are world leaders using social platforms like Facebook to reach their people?
A classic example of election and political advertising being used is President Donald’s Trump campaign run in 2019.
If you are reading this from the United States then you most likely would’ve heard of how Donald trump spent his millions advertising on different types of Facebook ads to win American votes.
According to a new Guardian investigation, the Trump campaign spent nearly $20 million on over 218,000 separate Facebook ads in 2019.
Source — https://www.theguardian.com/
“TAKE THE OFFICIAL APPROVAL POLL!” read the ad copy, which appears above a picture of Trump, reads: “To have your vote counted in the official results, please take the Official Trump Approval Poll before 11:59 PM TONIGHT.”
Facebook’s latest update on political advertising
Facebook’s latest election and political advertising was centered around preparing for Ethiopia’s 2021 General Election which was held on 21 June 2021.
Facebook goes on to say It has put efforts to detect and delete hate speech and content that incites violence, as well as to combat misinformation, enhance digital literacy, and make political advertising more transparent.
As a result, anyone wanting to run political advertisements in Ethiopia must now go through a verification process to confirm their identity and residency in the country.
Facebook then checks to identify if their policies are being followed.
Political advertisements are labeled with a “paid by” disclaimer, allowing users to see who paid for them.
Facebook also includes political ads in their Ads Library so that everyone has the transparency to see what kind of ad is running, who’s targeting them, and how much money was spent.
These adverts will be stored for seven years in this fully searchable archive.
In efforts to increase their transparency, Facebook also states that they will be implementing new restrictions that would allow users to opt-out of seeing social issues, electoral, and political ads.
Ads with a “Paid for by” disclaimer will no longer appear if people utilize these options.
People can change their ad topic settings to activate the social problem, electoral, and political ads control feature:
- Go to Ad Preferences and then to ‘Ad Topics.’
- You’ll find a list of topics under the heading ‘Ad Topics,’ including ‘Social Issues, Elections, or Politics.’
- Select ‘See Fewer’ from the drop-down menu next to ‘Social Issues, Elections, or Politics.’
Source : https://www.pcmag.com/
These added transparency options on Facebook are intended to encourage debate on controversial topics by making it easier for individuals to identify who is attempting to influence them with advertisements.
Facebook does this by a combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and human assessment to review their adverts.
However senior analysts like Marshall Erwin ( Mozilla ) argue that the tools and measures taken by Facebook do not provide the level of insight that users would want.
Despite Facebook building an Ads library enabling their users to see what kind of ad is running, legislators, activists, and academics say it’s still difficult to track how political advertising is purchased and targeted across Facebook’s digital platforms.
They say that, ahead of upcoming elections in the future, the social media giant must do more to protect voters from being assaulted with highly politicized content whose sources are frequently unknown — or politicians will be forced to enact strict regulations. However, we definitely can’t and shouldn’t leave aside how Facebook has been exposed in the past for their controversial (to say the least) campaign approvals.
Do you think Facebook is doing enough to provide transparency on their political ad campaigns to their users? Leave a comment down below and let us know!