Facebook recently increased ad transparency by launching an Ad Library which allows anyone to check how much politicians or Pages spent on ads on the social media network.
Originally, the ad archive was part of the company’s efforts to make political ads more transparent, however, it now allows users to checkout ads on non-political issues as well. Facebook added that the Library could be accessed by non-Facebook users as well to ensure that it’s not limited to only those who have accounts.
This could make a welcome addition for regulators and journalists to ensure the social network isn’t being used to spread misinformation.
Anyone can check the date a Page was started or merged with another Page. Page name changes are also listed as well as where it is being managed from. Similarly, ads reported for policy violation are now visible on the Page transparency tab.
The Ad Library gives a full overview of how many political ads have been scheduled in a specified time frame.
By mid-May, Facebook plans to offer daily downloadable Ad Library reports in addition to monthly and quarterly ones.
Publishers will be exempt from ad labelling on their political coverage having successfully argued that they are not promoting a certain party.
Political ad labelling is set to being launched in the rest of Europe after being trialled in the UK since October 2018. This means that political advertisers will have to verify some background information in order to buy and run their ads on Facebook.
Ads are then clearly labelled with a “Paid for by” label.