Facebook Introduces New Policies For Political, Social Issue Ads Ahead Of 2020 Elections

There has been an update to Facebook’s ad policies for political advertisers and anyone who is running electoral or social issue ads. Introduced on August 28 and applied to ads on Facebook and Instagram, includes new disclaimer requirements for for political advertisers and updates to the company’s list of social issue topics in the US.

Here is a disclaimer – beginning mid-September, advertisers who are running political, electoral or social issue ads will need to give Facebook more detail about their organization. They will be given five options to provide further information:

  • A tax-registered organization identification number (EIN).
  • A Federal Election Commission (FEC) identification number.
  • A government website domain (.gov or .mil) that matches the advertiser’s email.
  • For smaller advertisers or local politicians that may not have an EIN or FEC number, or a government-run website, they can submit their organization name along with a verifiable phone number, mail-deliverable address and business website along with an email address that matches the business website domain.
  • Small advertisers can also rely solely on their Facebook Page admin’s legal name that is attached to a their personal identification document. (Advertisers using this option will not be able to use a registered organization name in their ad disclaimer.)

If advertisers who run political, electoral or social issues ads don’t comply with the new requirements by mid-October are going to have their ads paused.

Facebook has even updated its labels for political, electoral and social issues ads. If a users taps the “i” icon that includes either the “Confirmed Organization” or “About this Ad” language, they’ll see information Facebook has confirmed.

“This will allow people to confidently gauge the legitimacy of an organization and quickly raise questions or concerns if they find anything out of the ordinary,” writes Facebook Public Policy Director Katie Harbath and Product Manager Sarah Schiff.

Facebook had previously assigned its social issue ad tops to 20 distinct subject areas. There is a revised list of categorized social issue ads with a new list of ten categories for the US:

  • Civil and social rights
  • Crime
  • Economy
  • Education
  • Environmental politics
  • Guns
  • Health
  • Immigration
  • Political values and governance
  • Security and foreign policy

According to Facebook, it purposely made this list of categories broad so that it can be refined over time and that the categories are evolving and may be narrowed or expanded over time.

“This list is meant to be fluid to reflect the public discourse around social issues on and off Facebook that seek to influence public opinion through advocacy,” writes Harbath and Schiff.

SourceAmy Gesenhues

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