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Facebook to Ban Foreign Electoral Ads Ahead of Federal Vote in Australia

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Facebook said it would temporarily block electoral advertisements bought from outside Australia ahead of the upcoming federal election in the country as a part of its approach to protecting voters from foreign meddling.

"Combating foreign interference is a key pillar of our approach to safeguarding elections on our platform. As part of this commitment, we’re temporarily not allowing electoral ads purchased from outside Australia ahead of the election in May", Mia Garlick, the company’s director of Policy for Australia and New Zealand, said in a statement on Thursday.

READ MORE: Under Fire: Facebook Pays Leading UK Newspaper for Positive Media Coverage

The measure will take effect the day after the Australian authorities call the election and will apply to ads containing references to politicians, parties and electoral procedures, as well as various political slogans and logos.

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The hi-tech giant’s other policies include providing more information on advertisements; introducing fact-checking in Australia in cooperation with Agence France-Presse (AFP) to review stories posted on the platform; improving quality and authenticity of information published on Facebook; dealing with fake accounts; and boosting efforts for safety and security on the platform.

Australian media have reported that Facebook will be among technology companies that will meet the country’s government later on Friday to address online policies in the wake of the mosque massacre in New Zealand in mid-March.

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