Without new laws, Facebook has no reason to fix its broken ad system

Vice News and Business Insider recently tested Facebook 's commitment to political advertising transparency. The results are not good. Yesterday, the Vice President approved the false publicity in the name of more than 100 US Senators, making it easier for "paying for" political advertising to be disclosed. Facebook approved the ad after the buyer was able to verify their identity with a postcard showing that they were residents of the United States. From there, they can decide to name themselves under the title "Payable to".

Facebook 's advertising was a source of frustration for Congressmen, especially after the election was found in 2016. The influential representatives of Russia were able to deploy political ads related to American politics on the platform. A bill was introduced to take responsibility for this platform, and federal agencies have begun the investigation, but until now everything has not been smooth. Facebook currently has no legal restrictions on how to deal with false political advertising and there are no external incentives to prevent unjust election tactics.

The regulators are already working on the rules they can decline on Facebook. However, some enforcement will be too late for the midterm exam. The Federal Elections Commission is currently considering a proposed rulemaking notice that categorizes "Internet communications" as "public communications" on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, so it is not clear when advertisements are sponsored by politicians or political organizations. I need a disclaimer. 19659003] The Verge

Facebook has been working on its own transparency measures since the elections in 2016, but it is not clear how successful the actions were. Last October, Facebook announced that it would increase its efforts to combat false political advertising by requiring advertisers to identify themselves. When this standard was first announced, Rob Goldman, vice president of advertising for Facebook, said in a blog post, "With regards to ads on Facebook, people should be able to see who the advertisers are and the ads they run. Advertising, "he said. "The level of transparency is good for democracy and good for the election process."

But this effort came after a campaign that had a broad and devastating impact on the 2016 elections. law. Since then, Facebook has been subject to scrutiny by lawmakers. Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) were very interested in introducing honest advertising laws last year. The bill will amend BCRA, one of the largest campaign reform laws, to allow paid Internet and digital advertising to comply with the same standards as television and radio. The larger online platform, such as Facebook, must maintain a public ad that includes the person who paid the ad over $ 500 by law, ad views, billing rates, and buyer contact information.

Within a few days of the bill being released, Facebook posted a blog post with new efforts to counter false political advertising. In the following month of this announcement, Facebook raised its share of advertising disclosure, and in April the company announced that it "guaranteed and implemented" the requirements of the legislation itself.

"Election interference is a bigger issue than any platform, and that's why we support honest advertising," Mark Zuckerberg said in a separate blog post.

Facebook implements its own rules and all momentum about honest advertising legislation and legislation has stopped. The bill received bipartisan support from the Senate and the House, but Congress waited for the testimony of Zuckerberg and began taking any action. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is famous for his broad support for the first amendment, has also questioned the need for the bill and has not yet given up his right to vote. In light of Vice's report, it is questionable how much influence Facebook has on support for legislation.

There is no penalty for weakness in Facebook's way of publicizing ads on Congress or the Federal Election Commission. In her statement, Senator Klobuchar, who made false advertising for Bice News in her name, said, "I am grateful for Facebook's efforts to increase transparency, but it must definitely be strong."

The report also highlights reasons for passing honest advertising legislation that requires wives and public disclosures for online political advertising, and for imposing penalties on noncompliant people. "

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), a supporter of the House version of the same bill, expressed similar feelings. "Paid political advertising has to comply with the same disclosure requirements, regardless of the form of honest advertising I have taken," Coffman told The Verge . "Americans need to know who pays for advertising on the Internet as much as they watch on TV or listen on the radio."

But now on the face of the ad database and "payable" . It is also one of the broader efforts to increase transparency on Facebook's political advertising. "

With the addition of the ad database, Facebook elects a third party group, and the press sees these bad actors responsible for the wrong ads as the platform itself," said Rob Leathern, director of product management at Facebook. "We know that we can not do this alone, and by accepting this ad for up to seven years, people, regulators, third parties and watchdog groups can keep this group more accountable," Leathern said. "

Still, many users are interested in finding and dismissing false advertising, especially when compared to the way a real user in the last election spread Russian-sponsored memes through the platform.

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