23:18 GMT31 October 2020
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    Facebook's Vice President of Advertising Rob Goldman announced in a statement that everyone who posts ads on the social media outlet would have to disclose their identities.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — "When it comes to advertising on Facebook, people should be able to tell who the advertiser is and see the ads they’re running, especially for political ads," Goldman said on Friday. "Starting next month, people will be able to click ‘View Ads’ on a Page and view ads a Page is running, whether or not the person viewing is in the intended target audience for the ad."

    Goldman explained that the rollout of the new Transparency in Advertising program will begin with Canada, where Facebook is already experimenting with election related matters.

    "During the summer of 2018, Facebook will implement the program in the United States prior to the nation’s mid-term elections," Goldman stated. "It will also activate the effort in other countries."

    ​Moreover, the social media giant is planning to build a database of US federal election political advertisements for archival and research purposes, the statement noted.

    Goldman pointed out the searchable database will include total amounts spent on advertisements and the demographics of those who viewed them. Political advertisers will soon have to provide documentation revealing their identities.

    "We’re going to require more thorough documentation from advertisers who want to run election-related ads," Goldman said, adding that the advertisers will have to include a disclosure in their election-related advertisements reading "Paid for by" once they have been verified.

    He said when users click on the disclosure they will be able to see details about the advertiser and "like other ads on Facebook, you will also be able to see an explanation of why you saw that particular ad."

    Facebook's announcement comes on the heels of Twitter's refusal on Thursday to carry advertisements by Russian news outlets RT and Sputnik. Twitter cited a US intelligence report's findings that the two outlets were part of a coordinated campaign to influence the US election process.

    However, Twitter pitched RT on buying election advertisements during the 2016 presidential cycle and later concealed that fact from US Senate Intelligence Committee during hearings on the matter. RT denied Twitter's offer to advertise on the platform while Sputnik said it never used paid promotion services on Twitter.

    Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet are scheduled to appear before US congressional hearings next week to detail Russia's activities and offer remedies.


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