Facebook has announced that it is rolling out new rules on the use of its platform for political advertising in some of the countries with elections due this year. This is just one of the developments to take place on this issue in recent days.
Reuters reports that beginning on Wednesday in Nigeria, only advertisers located in the country will be able to run electoral ads, mirroring a policy unveiled during an Irish referendum last May.
The same policy will take effect in Ukraine in February. Nigeria holds a presidential election on Feb. 16, while Ukraine will follow on March 31.
In India, which votes for parliament this spring, Facebook will place electoral ads in a searchable online library starting from next month.
The library will resemble archives brought to the United States, Brazil and Britain last year.
However, policies in different countries will vary and with more than 100 national and international elections taking place in 2019, it appears that Facebook will not be tightening up the rules in every case. Even in large democracies such as Australia, Indonesia, Israel and the Philippines, Facebook is still deciding what to do. If voters in these countries cannot be sure that the network will introduce transparency rules in time for their votes, how long will it take for the company to reach Macedonia or Bolivia – two more countries which have votes this year.
In other news, Likud has said that it will block Israeli attempts to stop dubious online campaigning in the forthcoming general election. This is despite claims by Shin Bet that another country is planning to try to disrupt the elections. Accusations have previously been levelled at Likud’s use of online campaigning.
And in the UK, the organisation Full Fact has announced that it will start factchecking Facebook posts. This will not be specifically targeted at political or election content but will include such content.