Facebook makes political ads more transparent ahead of Russia hearings

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SAN FRANCISCO —Facebook says it will begin disclosing more about political ads that run on the giant social network ahead of next week’s congressional hearings in which the nation’s technology giants will testify about Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election.

Federal political advertisers will have to verify their identities and locations and ads will carry a disclosure saying who paid for them. Facebook is also testing a feature that lets anyone visit any page on Facebook and see what ads that page is running, whether they are political in nature or not.

The new rules for political ads bring Facebook closer to what’s required of other media such as television, an effort to persuade lawmakers the company is capable of policing itself.
“When Russians took advantage of loopholes in our laws and bought ads to divide Americans and influence our election it was a big wake-up call. The lack of transparency and accountability in online political advertising is a threat to our democracy,” Klobuchar said in a statement Friday.

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