Facebook is about to hack off a bunch of people again. No, not for messing with the timeline like they did in early March. This time it is to tackle political meddling. On April 6th Facebook Newsroom posted Making Ads and Pages More Transparent.
On a whole, this bit of news is directed at pages, SuperPacs, and 527groups who post political ads. This also goes to nonpolitical pages. If you have a page and you want to put your business behind a particular candidate. You will be subjected to these new advertising rules.
What is Facebook trying to accomplish?
The overall Facebook is wanting to make sure you are aware of what each candidate is posting. That way if one side is sowing seeds of discontent to the other side you can see what their strategy is.
This is to disrupt and prevent ads that were created by parties in other countries. One way they are going to do this is by verification. Your profile will need to be verified to be able to advertise politically. The verification is to keep people from Russia or some other country from posting their own advertisements aimed at influencing our election process.
Facebook will also be incorporating AI to help find ads that are political in nature but the poster is not verified. Facebook also is adding more people to also hunt for offending political ads. Then they are also adding the option for their users to report ads in the 3 dot menu in the top right and corner of any advertisement.
Finally in June Facebook will be releasing a public and searchable Political Ads Archive. That will allow anyone to view who was targeted and how much was spent. On top of that all advertisers not just political will have all ads they have shown be visible to everyone. Even if the page isn’t liked by that person.
The last point made by Facebook was that anybody who is running a page that has a “large” number of followers will have to be verified. This is the clincher. People have to be verified. This is telling me that they are going to be opening up the verification process for more than just people. You have already been able to get your page verified but normal people who are not celebrities at one time were not able to get verified. So we may soon see a change here.
Also, Facebook often starts small and then expands so get ready for everybody to have to be verified if you are wanting to spend money on advertising. Because Facebook is still running out of ad space and thinning the herd can help with that.
Yeah, there are going to be a few problems with this. One there is the false positives. The second problem is the moment one side or the other gets blocked from being able to post ads you are going to hear people scream bloody murder. I see why Facebook need to do this but I am not sure if it is the best way.
Yeah, fake profiles run rampant on Facebook. If you have ever received a friend request from a young nubile woman you know what I mean. I would love to think that all these women actually want to have anything to do with me and my rocking dad bod. Yet I know that they aren’t and so I decline and report each one. My question is how are they going to verify? Is it going to be like page verifications? If that is so then there may not be any problem. If it is going to be done by people reviewing each submission then Facebook is going to run the problem of time, and biases
I am glad they do give their users the ability to report. Yet, that too is a problem. Because it will be like Sniping on Twitter. That is where you can get a person suspended by gathering a lot of users and having them report a profile. It looks like that could be a problem in the Facebook scenario. Will it happen probably not but again that will cause people to have a reason to not trust what Facebook is doing?
Facebook is trying. Their user base for the first time held still and it is feared that by this time next quarter Facebook will probably start showing signs of shrinking. So they will need to get their trust back o0ne way or another. I am just not sure that this is the best solution at hand.
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