After the media uproar that it faced in the last couple of years due to its involvement in the US presidential elections of 2016 and Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook has enforced strict rules for political advertisement rules in Britain. The new rules were expected to start from 7th November but researchers and journalists discovered flaws in the system so it has been delayed. According to new regulations people who wants to place political advertisements will be required to verify their personal details in terms of identity and location and also present details about person/s spending for the same.
With the new rules in place political advertisements related to referenda, candidates, elections and political causes, all political advertisers that want to use Facebook for their adverts have to provide identity proof that will be verified along with an address proof of their residence in UK. These political adverts will be kept as political records for several years. The firm stated that though enforcement of these rules will not be sufficient but in future they will continue to improve techniques to stop misuse by unscrupulous users. The new regulations were delayed as news website Business Insider was able to purchase an advert which declared that it was paid for by Cambridge Analytica.
Facebook has since then made improvements in its systems and has stated that it will have people to review details typed in by advertisers in the paid for box and will limit the times users can edit declarations in political ads. Mike Schroepfer, Facebook’s chief technology officer has promised UK MP’s that his firm will be ready to authorize political adverts in time for elections in England and Northern Ireland and he will make this a pledge while giving evidence to UK’s parliament committee. It will also launch a program that was successful in Canada that allows members to see all adverts that appear before users via Facebook Messenger and Instagram by deploying a “view ads” button.