Facebook to exempt news outlets from political ad archives

Facebook will start exempting promoted posts from news outlets from its political ad archives, the company announced Thursday.

Publishers had been complaining about their posts being swept up in the social network’s recent efforts to provide more transparency around political advertisements on the site.

Rob Leathern, Facebook’s product management director, wrote in a post that the platform had started indexing news outlets’ posts because some bad actors were impersonating publishers in order to spread disinformation.

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“Our initial enforcement practices were intentionally broad,” Leathern wrote. “We’ve since built more controls to help prevent politically motivated actors looking to use false news or sensationalism as weapons, and in September, we announced a news indexing process designed to more clearly and consistently identify Pages posting news on Facebook.”

Facebook also announced on Thursday it was rolling out new political ad authorization practices in the United Kingdom. In order for political ads to be approved, users will have to prove their identity and location and reveal the ad’s source of funding.

“Enforcement on these ads will never be perfect, but we’ll continue to work on improving our systems and technology to prevent abuse,” Leathern wrote. “Uncovering who ultimately paid for a political ad is a challenge that goes beyond Facebook, but we know that we must make it a lot harder for bad actors to deceive or interfere on our platform.”

The same system was rolled out in the U.S. last summer.