With just a few months left for the Lok Sabha electinos, Facebook has toughened up the rules governing political advertisements in India to create more transparency.
The social media giant said in a statement that users will see political advertisements with 'published by' and 'paid by' disclaimers. The decision comes close on the heels of Facebook saying that it would extend some of its political advertising rules and tools for curbing election interference to India, Nigeria, Ukraine and the European Union before significant votes in these places in the next few months.
Facebook said users will be able to access a library that allows them to search and find out more about political advertisements such as how much is spent on them and the demographics of advertising views. People will soon also be able to see country locations of users who manage Facebook pages that carry political ads. Facebook added: "By increasing transparency around ads and pages on Facebook, we hope to increase accountability for advertisers, help people assess the content they`re seeing and prevent future abuse in elections."
The new features and policy becomes effective February 21. Recently, Agence France-Presse has said it is extending its fact-checking deal with Facebook to counter fake news in Arabic.
As per the new contract, AFP, one of the world's big three news agencies, will extend its worldwide network of fact-checkers -- which is already up and running across 16 countries in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.
The Arabic fact-checking teams based in Beirut will work with AFP staff covering North Africa and the Middle East, where AFP is the leading international news agency in Arabic.
They will verify and debunk fake news being spread online, with their articles published on AFP's Fact Check blog and then flagged up by Facebook to its users. According to AFP global news director Phil Chetwynd, the ongoing yellow vests protests in France had shown once again how disinformation can be shared to millions through Facebook groups, "some of whom have a greater reach than some traditional media".