Facebook Plans to make Political Advertising Transparent
With the usual intensity of Nigeria’s politics, the 2019 general election already knocking at the door coupled with ominous signals by political characters, latest news from Facebook might make some sense to the social media buffs, the political class and Nigerians in general.
Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg promised to make political advertising on the platform more transparent, now that his social network is under serious scrutiny for its role in the 2016 U.S. election.
Zuckerberg went on Facebook Live and promised to hand over 3,000 Russia-linked Facebook ads to congressional investigators probing the Kremlin’s attempts to influence U.S. voters, reports Ad Age’s Megan Graham.
The focus has been on the U.S. vote, but Zuckerberg mentioned the French and German elections, too. And the stakes go far beyond those three big Western countries.
There are 2 billion monthly Facebook users who live across the globe, in countries with different laws, different languages and different local nuances to understand. These include Nigeria and many other countries.
There are countless elections that could be swayed, and not just by Russia; Nigeria not being an exception. How is Facebook possibly going to deal with all the shadowy, scary corridors in the network it built on “likes”?
In another development, Facebook is promising to delight marketers by creating unhindered access to shoppers!
“Facebook will now let advertisers put digital ads in front of people who previously visited their real-life stores or those of their competitors,” reports Ad Age’s George Slefo.
Dick’s Sporting Goods tested the product, for example, to reach people in winter, after they visited stores in summer. Facebook knows where users are if location services are enabled on their phone’s Facebook app. How will consumers feel about this link-up of their virtual and real lives? Similarly, the political class needs to be wary of the promised transparency of advertisements served on the platform to protect their integrity and ensure fairly play.