Facebook to manually review some political, social issue ads: report

Facebook to manually review some political, social issue ads: report
© Getty Images

Facebook says it will now require ads that target people based on "politics, religion, ethnicity or social issues" to be manually reviewed by Facebook staff before going live, according to an Axios report Saturday citing a recent company email to advertisers.

The tech giant warned advertisers that the new policy will likely slow down the process of approving new ad campaigns on the site.

"With this update, we'll be requiring more ads to go through human review. New campaigns with ad sets contain targeting options that we feel warrant additional review (such as those associated with topics such as politics, religion, ethnicity and social issues), we will route them for manual review prior to being approved," the email reads, according to Axios.

ADVERTISEMENT

"In these instances, advertisers are likely to experience a delay prior to the start of ad delivery, although we will look for ways to reduce any potential delays over time."

Facebook's announcement comes amid increasing scrutiny of the social media company's handling of political ads after it was revealed that fake Russian accounts used ads to target voters in Michigan and Wisconsin during the 2016 election.

Reports earlier this week indicated that the company also scrubbed all references to Russia from a 13-page report it published in April on election influence.

“At the time that we published the white paper we were not in a position to know for sure who was behind the activity that we described and we did not feel comfortable making a definitive attribution,” a spokesperson said Thursday.

The company has since publicly acknowledged Russia as a source of election meddling on its platform.

In a statement to Axios, a Facebook spokesperson said that the company is "open to reviewing any reasonable Congressional proposals" meant to increase transparency in political advertisements.