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Facebook delays political ad transparency requirements in UK

Facebook delays political ad transparency requirements in UK
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Facebook is delaying compulsory political transparency features in the U.K. after a series of reports about the fallibility of the new measures.

“We have learned that some people may try to game the disclaimer system by entering inaccurate details and have been working to improve our review process to detect and prevent this kind of abuse," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.

“Once we have strengthened our process for ensuring the accuracy of disclaimers, we will be introducing enforcement systems to identify political advertisers and require them to go through the authorization process.”

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The social media company recently introduced a requirement that advertisers in the U.S. disclose their identity on a disclaimer showing who paid for the ad. Facebook had planned to release the requirement on Wednesday in the U.K., but is now delaying its introduction until next month.

The delay comes after Vice News reporters were able purchased political ads and then were able to label them as paid for by “ISIS,” “Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceSinema’s Senate win cheered by LGBTQ groups Pence’s meeting with Japan and India crucial to countering China How President Trump won last night MORE” and all 100 sitting members of the U.S. Senate.

ProPublica also detailed how an oil trade association was able to hide behind a nonexistent group to promote industry-favorable policy positions.

Facebook had begun to roll out some of its political ad transparency measures in the U.K. in October, which included compiling its ads in a publicly accessible archive and letting advertisers register to show their location. The social media giant had planned to make all the requirements mandatory in November.

The transparency measures were introduced in response to pressure following Facebook’s own disclosures last year that Russian trolls had manipulated its platform's advertising feature to sow discord and influence the U.S. political process.

Lawmakers, particularly Sens. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharSenate GOP readies for leadership reshuffle Facebook delays political ad transparency requirements in UK Midterms: The winners and losers MORE (D-Minn.) and Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSenate GOP readies for leadership reshuffle Warner 'disappointed' in how Trump replaced Sessions Warner expresses concerns over potential future election meddling MORE (D-Va.), had threatened to introduce legislation to regulate the digital ad space. The company vowed to self-regulate in an attempt to ward off lawmaker rules.

Facebook’s recent failings though have sparked renewed calls from Klobuchar and Warner to introduce legislation regulating digital political ads.