Facebook announced the changes that would be made in handling all political advertisements on the popular social media site. These modifications, needless to say, will have a massive impact on advertisers. According to the company, those who would be interested in purchasing space for an ad that contains political content may be able to do so, but it is required that their profiles are verified first.
Political ads, which include advertisements that contain political issues, will still be available on the site. However, the company addressed the advertisers that in order to run the ads on the platform, these people should first reveal who they are, along with other information such as their location. These details should be verified before they can place the ads. Additionally, the data of the advertiser will also be displayed for the users of this social media app to see.
Before the end of May, it was announced that the authorization process for advertisements finally went live. It was first out to the public in October when the company talked about requiring the political advertisers to confirm their identities and location before they could run anything related to the election.
However, prior to the political ad rules going into effect, the company expanded the constraint to advertisers of any “issue ads.” It means that anything with political content, particularly those that are being debated around the country, will have to undergo the verification of identity first before it can run on the website. These topics can have nothing to do with the election.
The Monitoring Procedure
According to the social network giant, their efforts to find and target the issues on ads will be backed by third-party organizations. These ads will have the label “Political Ad” as they run throughout the site. The display will also include the information of the advertiser under the “Paid for by” tag. All end users will see these details on their screen.
The announcement also entailed that Facebook will verify the identity of the political ad runner, along with his or her residential mailing address. It is a requirement that all advertisers who will promote political content should disclose those details, as well as the person or organization that will pay for the ads. It will be a part of the authorization process.
Only those who are in the United States will go through the verification procedure. The same goes for the pages and ad accounts, which will also have to be verified. To complete this step, the admins will have to submit any ID that is government-issued, along with their mailing address.
If you are wondering why which IDs are accepted, the social media site explained in its FAQ that it can either be a driver’s license or a passport. That is not all; it is also required that anyone who wants to run a political ad should provide the last four digits of their Social Security Number.
If anything is comforting about this authorization process, it is the fact that the company guaranteed the approval or the denial of the request would be granted in just a few minutes. Additionally, if an advertising company uploaded poor quality of images, it is possible to try again and may be approved if the new files come in better condition.
On the other hand, the verification process of the address will be performed in a different way. The company will mail a letter, and it will come with a unique access code. The admin of the account should enter that code to prove the integrity of the address. It may take up to 10 days before the letter will arrive though, which means advertisers may have to wait up to two weeks before they can run their ads.
This political authorization procedure does not end here. The admins are obliged to provide details on who paid for the ad, which will be a part of the disclaimer section. The information should be complete, which should include the name of the person or the organization that funded the advertisement.
All the pieces of information the promoter will provide will be reviewed first before the account is verified. However, it seems that the company will not fact check the field about who paid for the ad, just the identity and the residential location of the advertiser.
How Will These Changes Affect Advertisers?
Two of the most significant issues with the new rules are the lack of privacy for the advertisers and the length of wait time before the ads will show up on the social media platform. While some promoters do not have a problem with losing their anonymity, there are also some individuals who are displeased with these regulations.
Even worse for them is the waiting period. The company did mention that they will merely review all the disclaimers provided to them during the application process. This step is to ensure that the section adheres to the advertising policies of the company. The advertisers are allowed to edit the disclaimers whenever they want; however, it will prompt the site to review them again. Waiting to use the disclaimers for your ad can be quite frustrating.
Some parts of the rules can also be confusing. Take for example the company’s statement that the disclaimers should comply with applicable laws. However, it only mentioned they would be reviewed against the ad policies of the company.
If you plan to advertise on the social media site, we encourage you to know your responsibility as the promoter of any political ad or issue. Before you submit your application and your ad to Facebook, you should rely on yourself to assess the content of the material. We advise that you make sure your ad complies with the advertising regulations and all laws that are within the scope of the election.
The social media site also offers its own Blueprint training course, which is designed for the advertisers. It is an exclusive guide that provides the step-by-step requirement of the political authorization procedure, along with answers to relevant questions.