Social Media Platforms Limit Political Advertisements

By: Jill Ahrens
August 2, 2019

Political advertisements have become a controversial topic when it comes to social media platforms. Social media users are trusting, and are likely to believe what they read on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

During the 2016 United States election, thirteen Russians faced accusations for creating hundreds of fake social media accounts on Facebook. These accounts posed as Americans and released fake news articles about presidential candidates. Their purpose was to push a further divide between our country’s political parties.

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In addition, another fake news scandal arose through social media during Brazil’s election for the 38th president in 2018. Candidate Jair Bolsonaro’s followers created a massive campaign using Facebook’s WhatsApp in attempt to sway people’s votes. These campaigns released vast amounts of fake news about his opponent, and are thought to have played a role in Bolsonaro’s victory.

Furthermore, the spread of false information affects people’s trust in social media. It also has the ability to alter the results in otherwise fair campaigns. As a result, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram now require authorization from any person or group who wants to post political advertisements. Their intent for these new verifications is to prevent these events from happening again.

Listed below are the new authorization processes:

Facebook:

  • Confirm identity by uploading proof of citizenship
  • Two Factor Authentication using your phone number
  • Address confirmation by sending a code through U.S. mail
  • Provide organization name for a “sponsored by” tag within the ad

Twitter:

  • Passport information
  • Organization name and address
  • Address confirmation by sending a code through U.S. mail
  • Provide organization name for a “sponsored by” tag within the ad

Instagram:

  • Link your account to your already approved Facebook ad account
  • Provide organization name for a “sponsored by” tag within the ad