Facebook Canada is launching its ad transparency tools that will begin to roll out later this afternoon in an effort to comply with the new obligations set forth in Canada’s Elections Act.
Those wishing to run an ad with respect to social issues, elections or politics will first need to confirm their identity and location in Canada. They will also need to disclose who is responsible for the ad.
Facebook Canada said that all advertisers in Canada will need to be authorized in Canada to run ads.
“An advertiser can select themselves, a Page they run or another organization to appear in the ‘Paid for by’ disclaimer. To increase accountability on Facebook, if a Page name or different organization name is selected, the advertiser must provide additional information, like a phone number, email, business address and website. Per Canadian election law, an “agent name” field will also be available,” Facebook said.
Undergoing an identity confirmation will require two-factor authentication for accounts, a valid Canadian government-issued ID, and a location verification through a postal mailed verification code, Facebook said.
“We take the protection of elections on Facebook very seriously, which is why we’ve devoted significant time and resources in support of C-76, and will continue to make investments that help protect the Canadian election from interference on our platforms,” Kevin Chan, head of public policy at Facebook Canada, said in a statement.
“At Facebook, we are committed to bringing a new level of ad transparency to Canadians, so they know more about the ads they see across our platforms.”
“We have done the hard work to build tools and policies that require advertisers to complete an authorization process, including confirming their identity and location, before running ads about social issues, elections or politics,” he added.
Ads must fall under specific social issues
Ads placed in the Ad Library will last for seven years, the company said. Users will be able to learn about the range of impressions and spend, including demographic information like age, gender, and location.
“The Ad Library will include both ads that run with a disclaimer, and ads that run without a disclaimer if they are reported and determined to relate to social issues, elections or politics. We’ll also provide transparency for agent name, which advertisers may be required to provide, under C-76,” Facebook Canada said.
The company also noted that it consulted with “a group of prominent Canadian leaders” that represent on a broad political spectrum to determine seven social issues that advertisers in Canada may discuss.
They include Civil and social rights, the economy, health, immigration, political values and governance, and security and foreign policy.
Facebook and other digital platforms have been under scrutiny since the Cambridge Analytica scandal that influenced the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.
In Canada, Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould passed amendments to C-76 in December, and since then has been working with digital platforms to learn how to regulate them.
She told MobileSyrup last month that she was confident the new rules from C-76 will protect the country from any elections meddling.
The new Facebook Canada tools will begin to roll out at 12:00pm ET, the social media company said.