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 PenceDozens of graduates walk out in protest of Pence address Trudeau on tariff deal: Canadian and US businesses can get back to 'working constructively together' Congress has a duty to go through with the impeachment and public trial of President Trump 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 KlobucharInslee gives public option first test in Washington state Momentum builds behind push to pass laws enshrining abortion rights Poll: Biden is only Dem candidate that beats Trump outside of margin of error MORE (D-Minn.) and Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerOvernight Defense: Congressional leaders receive classified briefing on Iran | Trump on war: 'I hope not' | Key Republican calls threats credible | Warren plan targets corporate influence at Pentagon Key Republican 'convinced' Iran threats are credible Hillicon Valley: Trump takes flak for not joining anti-extremism pact | Phone carriers largely end sharing of location data | Huawei pushes back on ban | Florida lawmakers demand to learn counties hacked by Russians | Feds bust 0M cybercrime group 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.