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Facebook Advertising Politics

Facebook Ends 'Dark Posts' -- All Ads Will Be Visible To The Public (seattletimes.com) 68

"Under pressure in advance of hearings on Russian election interference, Facebook is moving to increase transparency for everyone who sees and buys political advertising on its site," reports the Associated Press. Here's the official announcement from Facebook's "VP of ads" : Starting next month, people will be able to click "View Ads" on a Page and view ads a Page is running on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger -- whether or not the person viewing is in the intended target audience for the ad. All Pages will be part of this effort, and we will require that all ads be associated with a Page as part of the ad creation process... We know how important it is to our community that we get this feature just right -- and so we're first rolling it out in only one country. Testing in one market allows us to learn the various ways an entire population uses the feature at a scale that allows us to learn and iterate... We will start this test in Canada and roll it out to the U.S. by this summer, ahead of the U.S. midterm elections in November, as well as broadly to all other countries around the same time... During this initial test, we will only show active ads. However, when we expand to the U.S. we plan to begin building an archive of federal-election related ads so that we can show both current and historical federal-election related ads.
Facebook "will verify political ad buyers in federal elections, requiring them to reveal correct names and locations," adds the Associated Press, noting that the effort is "likely meant to head off bipartisan legislation in the Senate that would require social media companies to keep public files of election ads and try to ensure they are not purchased by foreigners."

In addition, Facebook insists that "For political advertisers that do not proactively disclose themselves, we are building machine learning tools that will help us find them and require them to verify their identity."
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Facebook Ends 'Dark Posts' -- All Ads Will Be Visible To The Public

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  • And within a week of rolling out the test case in Canada, someone will find out to game it and purchase fake ads under a fake name that Facebook will verify as real. I'm pretty confident enterprising Russian operatives will have no problem getting around the new system. All they need to do is find some Americans to act as a front, wittingly or unwittingly. All those stolen identities from the Equifax hack could come in handy here.

    • But if you can tie the fake ads to a particular user, it will be easy to see they are a shill/agent/troll/whatever.

    • by epine ( 68316 )

      And within a week of rolling out the test case in Canada, someone will find out to game it and purchase fake ads under a fake name that Facebook will verify as real.

      When is the last time you participated in a discussion thread by offering a constructive path forward?

      You entire post amounts to "security is difficult". Seriously? That's the dumbest thing I've heard since Trump say "who knew health care could be so complicated?"

      So I guess your path forward is to repeal and replace whatever is presently being

  • America needs to flush the toilet on this turd of a company

  • Fantastic. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Weaselmancer ( 533834 ) on Saturday October 28, 2017 @12:26PM (#55450273)

    Nothing like closing the barn doors after the horses leave.

    • by makomk ( 752139 )

      The whole "dark posts" angle in the press mainly just seems to have been media fearmongering and spin anyway, an attempt to distract from how badly they fucked up with the election. The trouble with dirty tricks with dark posts is that people still end up seeing them - including people who don't support you and will take great pleasure in catching any mischief you might attempt - and there's no way around this because targetting is never perfect. (The only candidate who tried anything interesting in this ar

  • by BrookHarty ( 9119 ) on Saturday October 28, 2017 @12:33PM (#55450293) Homepage Journal

    Youtube, Facebook, twitter, and other social media companies are turning down advertising money because of politics.

    Conservatives get the bland "purple bed" ads, and conservative groups get ads turned off or demonetized because these corporations are pushing a social idea over an economic one.

    How about allowing the NRA, gun accessories, sport fishing, Christian services, ACLJ, right-wing news, etc to sell advertising. These people are who the advertisers really want and will pay extra for. So when I hear that "not advertiser-friendly" we know that's code for "not our kinda of people" and is just more tribalism in the silicon valley mindset.

    After a while, these conservative groups will have to start companies to compete against silicon valleys attempt to exclude them. Same goes for customers, after a while. A certain customer base will realize they are being actively targeted or even avoided for political reasons.

    So while I think its nice Facebook is trying to have disclosure in advertising, I find it dubious with their history of promoting their social agendas. This is just to appease the public and politicians with the ongoing facebook/Russia advertising investigation.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      How about allowing the NRA, gun accessories, sport fishing, Christian services, ACLJ, right-wing news, etc to sell advertising.

      What exactly would be Christian services, and why would anyone want to buy any?

      "Crucifixion? Good. Out of the door, line on the left, one cross each."

      So while I think its nice Facebook is trying to have disclosure in advertising, I find it dubious with their history of promoting their social agendas.

      This will develop into being most problematic when Zuckerberg announces his candidacy for the President of the United States of America.

      Hmmm . . . will Facebook be counted as one big political advertisement . . . ?

    • "How about allowing the NRA, gun accessories, sport fishing, Christian services, ACLJ, right-wing news, etc to sell advertising."

      I get enough of that crap shared from my family already.

  • An awesome transparency feature would be a button explaining why you were targeted for this ad.

  • by GrahamJ ( 241784 ) on Saturday October 28, 2017 @02:08PM (#55450541)

    Presumably the reason there wasn’t a View Ads button before is that they know no one would click it. Now that they’ve generated a reason to do so, I wonder if the view will count as a proper ad view - and doubly so for people who were not targeted.

    If it counts for targeted people then this could be viewed as a way to increase ad traffic for FB. If it counts for non-targeted people I doubt advertisers would like that very much. Thus the right answer would seem to be to make these views not count.

    But then could Pages link to their own View Ads page to get hits they don’t pay for?

    *grabs popcorn*

  • "Starting next month, people will be able to click "View Ads"

    Why would anybody do that?
    I'd click on a button saying:" Never see any ads in your life again" but certainly not on one saying "View ads".

  • I'm not on facebook.
    • Facebook as a whole profile of you, all your friends, connections, websites you visit, what you purchased, etc, their cookie track everything you do.
      Once you will want to open a FB account, they will show you all your friends and you will get very targeted ads.
      But you are being tracked, don't worry :)

  • It's interesting to note the actual phrasing as it only mentions federal elections but not state elections..

    "Facebook "will verify political ad buyers in federal elections, requiring them to reveal correct names and locations,""

    This needs to be done for all elections because state level elections are extremely important as well..

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