Facebook to Verify Locations of U.S. Election Ad buyers

Facebook to Verify Locations of U.S

The global director of policy programs of Facebook announced its intentions to start sending postcards via snail mail, to verify ad buyers of U.S. elections.

Katie Harbath described the intentions of the company at a conference held by the National Association of Secretaries of State, however, did not reveal when the program would start.

People who wish to purchase ads mentioning candidates running for federal offices would receive these cards, however, issue-based political ads would not. Harbath said, that these would contain a code that buyers need to enter to verify their presence in the U.S. The program is similar to ones used by Google My Business and Nextdoor when they need to verify business owners or users who want to join closed neighborhood groups, respectively.

The postcards would not solve the issue, at the least, it would prevent people from using false identities to purchase ads. In October 2017, Rob Goldman, vice president of Facebook ads said that the platform would create more transparency around ads, and would include a searchable archive of federal-election ads, requiring political advertisers to first verify their identity.

Executives from Facebook, Twitter, and Google were made to testify to the Senate last fall about how Russians used their platforms to spread misinformation intended to sway the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign. The companies were criticized for not doing enough to prevent false advertising.

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