"We already require that advertisers get authorized and add disclaimers to these ads in over 50 countries and territories, and now we’re expanding proactive enforcement on these ads to countries where elections or regulations are approaching, starting with Ukraine, Singapore, Canada and Argentina", Schiff said. "Beginning today, we will systematically detect and review ads in Ukraine and Canada through a combination of automated and human review".
Schiff explained that Facebook will begin such enforcement in Singapore and Argentina within the next several months via the Ad Library application that will allow the tracking and downloading aggregate spend data across advertisers and regions.
"For all other countries included in today’s announcement, we will not be proactively detecting or reactively reviewing possible social issue, electoral or political ads at this time", Schiff said. "However, we strongly encourage advertisers in those countries to authorize and add the proper disclaimers, especially in a rapidly evolving regulatory landscape".
Schiff stressed it will always be up to the advertiser to comply with respective countries’ electoral or advertising laws and regulations.
"If we are made aware of an ad that is in violation of a law, we will act quickly to remove it", Schiff said. "With these tools, regulators are now better positioned to consider how to protect elections with sensible regulations, which they are uniquely suited to do".
Schiff said explained that in countries where Facebook is not yet detecting or reviewing such advertisements, the tools it offers provide constituents with more information about who is influencing their vote - and Facebook suggests voters and local regulators hold these elected officials and influential groups accountable as well.
Facebook said it grants access to the Ad Library application globally in order for regulators, journalists, watchdog groups and other people to be able to analyze advertisements and help hold advertisers and Facebook accountable.
In 2018, Facebook launched a new system as to whether to include a news publisher in its advertisement archive. Facebook first used industry lists, but then began taking applications from publishers that wanted to be added to a news section of the library.
Facebook has been tweaking its advertisements library in response to the controversy that surrounded the 2016 US presidential election and political advertising used in the run-up to the vote. As a consequence, Facebook made information identifying paying entities and individuals for advertisements more transparent. In addition, Facebook has worked to distinguish between news stories and sponsored content, with a special section set aside for advertisements run by publishers and promoting stories on elections, candidates and important national issues.