Facebook rolls out rules for political ads in SA

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Facebook has expanded its rules around transparency for electoral and political ads to South Africa and Zambia, in light of both countries’ upcoming elections.

The company announced that starting from 29 June, it will launch its enforcement on ads about elections or politics in the countries.

This means that any ads about political figures, political parties, elections, or voting campaigns need to go through the Facebook ad authorisation process.

This process includes verifying your identity using government-issued ID and confirming your presence within the country. Advertisers will also need to provide information about who paid for the advertisement in the “paid for by” disclaimer for the advert.

“We believe that more transparency leads to increased accountability and responsibility for both Facebook and advertisers, which is good for people and businesses alike,” Facebook’s Head of Public Policy for Southern Africa, Nomonde Gongxeka-Seopa, said in a statement.

“Political ads play an important role in every election. Our work to help protect elections is never done, but we believe changes like these continue to move us in the right direction.”

How to reduce and remove political ads on Facebook

But what if you don’t want to see ads from and about political parties in South Africa?

The only way to turn off electoral and political ads with disclaimers, according to Facebook, is by clicking on the top of these ads in your feed.

However, you can also reduce the frequency of political ads in your ad preferences settings.

To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Visit Ad Preferences and then selecting the Ad Topics tab.
  2. Under the list of Ad Topics, you’ll see a list of topics which may include Social Issues, Elections, or Politics.
  3. Across from Social Issues, Elections, or Politics, click “See Fewer”.

This will result in fewer ads of this type appearing in your feed.

Feature image: Solen Feyissa/Unsplash 

Read more: South African Information Regulator to take action on WhatsApp privacy policy

Megan Ellis


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