05:34 GMT23 January 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Facebook has introduced stricter rules for the placement of political advertisements ahead of the US federal, state and local midterm elections that will take place in November, the company said in a statement.

    According to Rob Leathern, Facebook's product management director, companies wanting to place political advertisements on the social network will have to submit their government-issued IDs and physical mailing address to Facebook and disclose which candidate or organization they are representing.

    "Once authorized, an advertiser’s election-related ads will be clearly marked in people’s Facebook and Instagram feeds. This is similar to the disclosure you see today for political ads on TV. The political label will also list the person, company, or organization that paid for the ad with a 'paid for by' disclosure," Leathern was quoted as saying in the statement.

    Leathern added that this summer the company would make public an archive of all political advertisements ever placed on the social network.

    "Beyond the ad creative itself, we’ll also show how much money was spent on each ad, the number of impressions it received, and the demographic information about the audience reached. And we will display those ads for four years after they ran," the product management director added.

    Facebook has recently become embroiled in a personal data breach scandal. Last week, media reported that the personal information of about 50 million Facebook users had been harvested by the Cambridge Analytica consultancy firm without their permission. While reportedly working for multiple political campaigns, the firm gathered data from these millions of social media accounts to develop a mechanism that would predict and influence the behavior of voters.

    Last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg issued an apology, pledging to take steps "to make sure this doesn't happen again."


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