What Facebook’s New Political Procedures Mean for Advertisers
Image Source: Facebook Newsroom
Facebook recently announced that it would be introducing new security measures for the running of any political ads. This new feature requires advertisers to go through an in-depth process to confirm their identity in order to be approved to post political content. From candidate campaigns to ads that include terms relating to “political issues,” Facebook is cracking down and will now include a “paid for by” label on any of the above. So, what does this mean for advertisers? Read on to find out.
Because Facebook uses an algorithm to flag content as “political,” there is definitely some room for error. This means that it is in an advertiser’s best interest to get approved to run political ads, regardless if you or your client has anything to do with politics. I personally went through the process of confirming my identity as a precautionary measure and was surprised by how thorough the process really was. These were the steps:
- Two Factor Authentication: The first step was to turn on “Two Factor Authentication,” which requires you to insert a code every time you log into Facebook from a new device to ensure additional security for those promoting political content. Although this is not the most ideal process, the extra safety measure at the “log in” phase definitely gives me peace of mind knowing it is harder for someone to hack into my account.
- Confirm you’re not a robot: Facebook requires you to confirm your identity by uploading a photo of your license or passport as well as inputting the last four digits of your social security number. This step made me a bit skeptical, but it was necessary to show Facebook that I was a real person and a US citizen.
- Reveal your location: To take it one step further, Facebook asks for your residential address in order to send a letter in the mail with a code to double-confirm your identity and current location. This letter actually arrived at my house in two days, which was pretty impressive for snail mail.
- Decode your way to run political ads: Once the code from the letter is inputted into Facebook, the final step is to agree to the terms and conditions and enter the “paid for by” disclaimer for your ad accounts. Finally, I was confirmed to run political ads!
So, what does this mean for advertisers? The most important thing to note is the difference in how political ads are going to be perceived by Facebook users. With an increase in transparency with the “paid for by” disclaimer, people will be able to spot a political ad from a mile away. The disclaimer will also be clickable and will lead users to an archive with more information, such as any campaign budgets and the demographics for the people who viewed the ad. Whether positive or negative, this change means that it is going to be more difficult for anyone with political content to hide the true method behind the madness from the public – which may lead to changes in campaign performance.
For those not running political content, your ads are still at risk at being flagged if they contain terms relating to political topics, which is why it may be a good idea to go through the same steps that I had to take, just in case. However, ads that are not required to have the political disclaimer may begin to hold more merit than those that do, based on what we have seen in the past with Instagram’s paid partnership feature. Only time will tell if this update has any further impact on social media as we know it!
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