Facebook to strengthen ad rules in India and other countries ahead of 2019 elections

As Facebook has reportedly become a platform for many politicians to spread false news and messages, and other propaganda, the popular social media network is planning to strengthen its political advertising rules and tools, as per a report by Reuters. The report asserts that the move will hinder “election interference in India, Nigeria, Ukraine and the European Union before significant votes in the next few months.”

As per Statista, Facebook had 2.27 billion active users on a monthly basis as of the third quarter of 2018. In the same year, the platform reportedly took diverse initiatives to strengthen oversight of political ads. The cited source stated that “Buying Facebook ads can widen the audience for such material, but some of those influence efforts may violate election rules and the company’s policies.”

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The report cited that during an Irish referendum, Katie Harbath, Facebook’s director of global politics and outreach asserted that “beginning on Wednesday in Nigeria, advertisers located in the country will be able to run electoral ads,” and the same policy will be followed in Ukraine in February 2019.

As for India, Rob Leathern, a director of product management at Facebook asserted that the social media network will set electoral ads in a searchable online library in February. “We’re learning from every country,” Leathern said. He further added that “We know we’re not going to be perfect, but our goal is continuing, ongoing improvement.” Besides, PTI recently reported that the tech giant will be investing USD 300 million over three years in multiple places linked to journalism.

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