Daily Management Review

Facebook to test new advertising technology in Ireland


05/10/2018


On the eve of the national abortion ban referendum, which will be held in Ireland on May 25, Facebook began testing a new technology to block placement of certain advertising content. Thus, the social network has been repeatedly criticized for inefficient opposition to attempts to influence opinion of voters via Facebook. Now, it intends to "protect the integrity of elections and referendums from improper influence" from outside the country.



infomatique via flickr
infomatique via flickr
As noted in the statement, Facebook will not place advertising related to the forthcoming referendum on legalization of abortion in Ireland, if this advertisement was created outside of this country. This way, the social network reacted to fears that some organizations and individuals would like to influence results of the upcoming referendum by placing ads on Facebook.

Irish law forbids political parties and initiative groups conducting any campaigns to receive financial support from abroad. However, the law does not take into account the possibility of investing in digital advertising, which will influence opinions of citizens. This loophole in the law, according to Irish experts, is actively used by certain stakeholders and organizations, since the issue of legalization of abortion is very acute for Ireland. As the founder of the Transparent Referendum Initiative Liz Carolan told The Guardian, over the past few months, their organization has been able to identify 144 different sites that paid for placement of online ads related to the referendum’s topic. And so far, only Facebook has been aware of who these advertisers were.

Thus, Ireland was the first country outside the United States where Facebook’s new tools to ensure transparency of advertising will be tested for the first time.

The social network decided to adopt such measures after sharp criticism for improper struggle with attempts to influence opinion of voters around the world during the election campaigns. Advertisers will have to undergo a rigorous authorization process, within which they will need to confirm their data and disclose information of organizations or persons that pay for advertising on the referendum topic. The company intends to cooperate directly with political parties and groups of activists representing two opinions in the Irish referendum. They will be able to directly notify Facebook about cases of placement of advertising content on the referendum’s topic, and the social network will promptly consider these cases and take the necessary measures.

The testing of new tools of advertising transparency will allow evaluating their effectiveness, after which Facebook intends to use them in other referenda and elections of all levels.

source: theguardian.com






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