Facebook’s Political and Issue Ad Policies, Transparency Tools Added to 32 Countries

The rules take effect in mid-March

Facebook debuted transparency tools covering political and issue ads in the U.S. in May 2018 Facebook

Facebook is bringing its political and issue ad policies and transparency tools to 32 more countries, effective in mid-March.

The social network said in a blog post that the policies and tools are being added in Australia, Belize, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Chile, Colombia, Côte D’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Georgia, Ghana, Guyana, Iceland, Indonesia, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Palau, Philippines, Republic of North Macedonia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Serbia, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago and Turkey.

Anyone seeking to run ads about elections or politics in those countries will need to confirm their identity with an ID issued by the country where they want to run those ads, and they must disclose who is funding the ad.

A person, a page they run or an organization can appear in the “Paid for by” disclaimer, and advertisers may need to provide additional information if their organization or page appears there, such as local business address, local phone number, email and website.

The company cautioned, “Authorizations may take a few days to complete, so advertisers should start this process now in order to help avoid delays in running these types of ads.”

Ads from authorized advertisers will be stored in Facebook’s Ad Library for seven years, giving people information such as range of impressions, spend and demographic data (age, gender and location of those who saw the ad).

Ads from all 32 countries will also be added to the Ad Library API (application-programming interface) so that researchers, academics, journalists and the public can study and analyze them and see aggregated insights such as total number of ads and ad spend.

More countries will be added later this year, including Brazil and Myanmar.

Facebook debuted transparency tools covering political and issue ads in the U.S. in May 2018.

They were extended to the U.K. in November 2018, India in December 2018, the European Union last March, Australia last April, Canada last June, Singapore last September and Taiwan last November.

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.