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Facebook: New advertising guidelines for news sites with political connections

In the USA the election season is not far off. While, for example, the Democratic US presidential candidate Joe Biden yesterday nominated the politician Kamala Harris for the office of vice president, Facebook has announced new advertising guidelines for all news publishers who are in concrete contact with parties, politicians, lobby groups (Political Action Committees) or other political organizations.

Authorization procedure for ads now also applies to publishers with political connections

Political entities must go through an authorization process on Facebook if they want to place ads on political or social topics - since 2019, the transparency tools for authorization have been rolled out worldwide. Advertisers have to register and their ads will be visible in Facebook's ad library and ad report so that users can transparently track who is responsible for political advertising on the platform.

Now the social network has stated in the blog post that news sites that are directly related to a political entity must also go through this authorization process for advertisers and register as political advertisers. For corresponding publishers in the USA, it now also applies that they can no longer invoke the exemption from advertising authorization. This allows news sites that are registered in the Facebook news site index and meet additional criteria to "not have to go through the authorization and disclaimer process for election advertising or advertising on politically or socially relevant topics".

Publishers with political affiliations can still register as news sites on Facebook and advertise on Facebook. However, some restrictions now apply: These pages will not be integrated with Facebook News, and they will not have access to messaging options via the Messenger Business Platform or the WhatsApp Business API.

How Facebook determines whether a publisher has political affiliations

Facebook stresses that the process of identifying a link between political entities and news publishers is still new and that the platform will continue to evolve as it does so. However, there is a page of Additional Guidelines that outlines how Facebook's political connections are defined. The criteria that are cited are the following:

The news pages belong to a political entity or political person.

The news publisher or its owner employs a political entity or political person to (1) run the company (for example, as Chief Executive Officer), (2) serve on the Board of Directors (for example, as Chairman of the Board of Directors), or (3) manage the newsroom (for example, as Editor-in-Chief).

The News Publisher shares proprietary information about any of its Facebook, Inc. accounts or account passwords, API access keys, and/or data about its Facebook readers (for example, location, demographics, consumer habits) directly with a political person or entity.

The Site will list a political entity or political person as a confirmed Site Owner or confirmed Site Partner in accordance with our Confirmed Site Owner Policy.

News sites (particularly in the U.S. initially) that meet these criteria should be aware that they may face restrictions in the future on both advertising and distributing news on Facebook.

Read the original German article here


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