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Facebook delays roll-out of UK political advertiser checks

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Facebook has delayed plans to introduce checks on verifying the identities of political advertisers as part of an initiative to tackle election interference.

Although the requirement was set to be introduced on 7 November, it has been pushed back following a series of embarrassing incidents in which the company failed to check if advertisers were who they claimed.

In April, Facebook’s chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer told MPs that new measures to boost transparency on the social network would be introduced in the UK.

These would require anyone who wanted to run political adverts to complete an authorisation process. The campaigns would be accompanied by disclaimers noting they are “political” and displaying who paid for them.

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However, a Facebook spokesperson acknowledged to Sky News that this process had been delayed following media reports which indicated it was easy to subvert the company’s advertising checks.

They told Sky News: “We have learnt that some people may try to game the disclaimer system by entering inaccurate details and have been working to improve our review process to detect and prevent this kind of abuse.

“Once we have strengthened our process for ensuring the accuracy of disclaimers, we will be introducing enforcement systems to identify political advertisers and require them to go through the authorisation process.”

It comes as the chair of parliament’s digital, culture, media and sport committee criticised Mark Zuckerberg’s refusal to attend parliament to be questioned by MPs.




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