Social Media Giant, Facebook has launched an archive of US political ad on its platform which showcases details like who paid for them and other details, after an outcry over Russians’ alleged purchase of such ads during the 2016 elections.
Facebook which today has 2.2 billion monthly active users had promised seven months ago to create a cache in context of U.S. congressional hearings that it wanted to increase transparency on its role in political advertising.
The company has said that the archive tool will be rolled out to other countries in coming months.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, Rob Leathern, Facebook’s director of ad product management said in his blog statement that all U.S. ads about elections or political issues on Facebook and Instagram must be labelled with the payer. He further added,
We believe that increased transparency will lead to increased accountability and responsibility for time – not just for Facebook but advertisers as well.
The label when clicked will take users to a searchable archive which will contain information such as campaign budget, how many people saw it and its demographics such as age, gender, location etc.
While Facebook has initiated a “big step” in the right direction with the archive rollout, Google and Twitter have said that they plan to build similar searchable databases in coming months.
Speaking on the latest development Democratic Senator Mark Warner, a co-sponsor of legislation to require internet companies to publish political ad data said that the archive is definitely a robust action done by the social media giant, however, legislation is needed to avoid a “patchwork of disclosure” across social media.