On Wednesday Facebook has announced that it is adding new requirements for political advertisers as part of its efforts to make the platform more secure in the run-up to the 2020 election.
From now before buying a political ad, advertisers will need to provide more information about their organization, including government-issued identification numbers. The new rule which will take effect in mid-September, comes in response to some advertisers using misleading names in their disclaimers in order to disguise their identities.
For commercial businesses, nonprofits, and nongovernmental organizations, that will mean providing a tax-registered organization identification number. Government and military advertisers will have to provide a web domain and email address that ends in .gov or .mil. Political action committees and parties will need to provide their Federal Election Commission identification numbers.
In exchange for providing that information, organizations can use their name in ad disclaimers. An i icon in the upper right-hand corner of the ad will show that they are a confirmed organization. Clicking that icon will reveal additional information about the advertiser, including their government ID number.
“While the authorization process won’t be perfect, it will help us confirm the legitimacy of an organization and provide people with more details about who’s behind the ads they are seeing,” the company said in a blog post.
In addition to the new ad requirements, Facebook is also updating the categories of advertising it considers political. What had been 20 subject areas has now been consolidated into 10 categories, which Facebook says are more inclusive. At the same time, Facebook says it is working to be less restrictive — ads that promote recycling will no longer require advertisers to verify their mailing address, for example.
Facebook said the new rules would take effect in mid-September. If advertisers have not submitted the required information by mid-October, their ability to buy ads will be paused, it added.