Political Ads Policy, Facebook, Facebook India, General Elections
courtesy: twitter
Facebook India on Thursday announced its new measures to bring an added layer of transparency to the political advertising on the platform in the country.
 
Under the latest Political Ads Policy, the social media platform will run disclaimers on political ads. It will also publish details of sponsors to bring transparency in political advertising ahead of the Lok Sabha Elections due by May. The implemented policy will allow users to see “published by” or “paid for by” disclaimers on political ads. This step will put an end to the anonymity of advertisers and bring transparency in electoral campaigns.
 
“This will give people more information about who’s responsible for the ads they see,” Facebook said in a statement.
 
The new guidelines will cover ads with reference to political figures, political parties, elections and ads that advocate for or against the legislation. 
 
Starting this month, the new policy is also applicable to Instagram. 
 
With nearly 300 million users, Facebook has become the main platform for political parties to sell their ideas in recent years.

To ensure that genuine campaigns run on its platform, Facebook has added another feature where the primary country location of political pages running these adverts will be displayed.

A searchable library to find political advertisements, including the impressions and background of people who viewed the posts will also be available to the users.

The central government had recently warned social media platforms over any attempt to undermine electoral processes.

“We will remove political ads running without a disclaimer in News Feed and will place them in the Ads Library,” says Facebook. 

“Our systems won’t catch every political ad that runs — so reports from others will be key. If people come across an ad and think it should include a disclaimer, they can tap the three dots at the top right-hand corner of the ad, and select “Report ad.” If we find the ad relates to politics, we’ll remove it and add it to the Library, where it will be accessible for seven years,” says Shivnath Thukral, Public Policy Director, India & South Asia, Facebook. 
 
The general election due by May is likely to be preceded by a bitter campaign between Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress led by Rahul Gandhi. Industry experts claim that the main focus and investment for the campaign is going to be voters active on social media platforms.