Facebook pushes for ad transparency ahead of India's General Elections

Ahead of India’s general elections next year, Facebook is making “big changes” to the way it manages ads on its platform and Instagram. Advertisers who want to now run ads in India related to politics will need to first confirm their identity and location, and give more details about who placed the ad.

The identity and location confirmation is said to take a few weeks so advertisers can start that process as early as today by using their mobile phones or computer to submit proof of identity and location. This will help avoid delays when they run political ads next year.

Early next year, Facebook will also start to show a disclaimer on all political ads that provides more information about who’s placing the ad, and an online searchable Ad Library for anyone to access. This is a library of all ads related to politics from a particular advertiser as well as information like the budget associated with an individual ad, a range of impressions, as well as the demographics of who saw the ad.

At that time, it’ll also begin to enforce the policy that requires all ads related to politics be run by an advertiser who’s completed the authorisations process and be labeled with the disclaimer. It will however not require eligible news publishers to get authorised, and won’t include their ads in the Ad Library.

“By authorising advertisers and bringing more transparency to ads, we can better defend against foreign interference in India’s elections,” Sarah Clark Schiff, product manager at Facebook, said in a blog post.