The Facebook logo is displayed on a mobile phone in this picture illustration. File picture: Reuters/Johanna Geron
The Facebook logo is displayed on a mobile phone in this picture illustration. File picture: Reuters/Johanna Geron

Facebook enforces rules: Authorisation now required if you want to run political ads in SA

By Yasmine Jacobs Time of article published Jun 30, 2021

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The social media network announced the expansion of its tools and policies which provide unprecedented transparency and controls on electoral and political ads to more countries around the world, including Zambia and South Africa.

How will this work?

Anyone running ads about political figures, political parties, the election or “Get out and vote” campaigns must go through the ad authorisation process by verifying their identity with a government-issued photo ID and confirming their location in those countries.

Advertisers are also required to provide more information about the person or organisation responsible for the ad to place “Paid for by...” disclaimers on these ads. This includes any person creating, modifying, publishing, or pausing ads that reference ads about elections or politics.

Ads will also be entered into Facebook’s Ad Library for seven years.

What if I want to see less political ads?

While political ads play a huge role leading up to, and during election time, people want the option to see fewer of these on their Facebook and Instagram feeds.

Earlier this year, Facebook announced a new control feature that allows people to have more control over the ads they see on Facebook. This feature gives people a choice to see fewer electoral and political ads with “Paid for by...” disclaimers in Zambia or South Africa.

This is how to adjust your ad topic preferences:

– Visit Ad Preferences then click Ad Topics.

– Under the list of Ad Topics, you’ll see a list of topics including Social Issues, Elections or Politics.

– Across from Social Issues, Elections or Politics, click See Fewer.

People can only turn off electoral and political ads with disclaimers by clicking on the top of these ads in their feed.

“We believe that more transparency leads to increased accountability and responsibility for both Facebook and advertisers, which is good for people and businesses alike. Political ads play an important role in every election. Our work to help protect elections is never done, but we believe changes like these continue to move us in the right direction,” said Facebook’s Head of Public Policy of Southern Africa, Nomonde Gongxeka- Seopa.

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