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Facebook to overhaul its political ads in face of criticism and investigations

After facing criticism from various quarters, especially for the use of the platform by Russia to influence Presidential elections in the United States, social media giant Facebook said that it would carry out a major overhaul of its political advertising system. It said that it will also provide all the evidence is has about the campaigns to Congress. According to special counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing the links that Donald Trump may have with Russia, more than 3,000 Facebook ads already indicate a link to Russian individuals and entities. Initially, Facebook was not willing to share such information with the Congress, but after the authorities conducted a lengthy privacy and legal review, Facebook had no other option, but to let investigators study the data and collect evidence.

Facebook also accepted that the political ads showing on its platform may be impacting voters in the wrong manner. Chief Executive Officer of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook will not allow its platform to be used to undermine democracy. He said that integrity of elections is the pillar of democracy in all democratic countries around the world. Zuckerberg said that it may not be possible to eliminate every form of abuse, but restrictions can certainly be put. He said that Facebook will soon be introducing new regulations that would increase transparency when users buy space for political ads. Currently, most such ads can be purchased without human intervention, which makes it difficult to trace the source. Facebook is planning to employ human teams to process such ads and to check and scan them before they are posted.

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