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Facebook expands transparency, increases user controls on political ads in Iraq

Facebook is introducing tools and policies which provide greater transparency and controls on electoral and political ads in Iraq, ahead of planned parliamentary elections on October 10.

Starting August 25, anyone running ads on Facebook or Instagram about political figures, political parties, any election or “Get out the vote” campaigns in Iraq will have to go through an ad authorization process to prove who they are by verifying their identity with a government-issued photo ID from Iraq.

This applies to any person creating, modifying, publishing, or managing these ads. Ads about elections and politics will only be permitted from advertisers who are authorized as being located within the country.

Advertisers will also be required to label ads about elections and politics in Iraq with a “Paid for by” disclaimer, so that anyone who views the ad can see the individual or organization that is responsible for the ad.

Ads about elections and politics in Iraq will also be archived in Facebook’s Ad Library so that everyone can see what ads are running, how much was spent, and a breakdown of reach and demographics. This fully searchable archive will store these ads for seven years.

Available in more than 195 countries, ads transparency is one of many ways Facebook is working to help protect elections integrity around the world.

Commenting on the solution, Facebook’s Public Policy Manager for the Levant, Tara Fischbach, said: “We believe that more transparency leads to increased accountability and responsibility for both Facebook and advertisers. Our work to help protect elections is never done, but changes like these continue to move us in the right direction.”

Alongside the introduction of ads transparency, a feature that allows people to have more control over the ads they see on Facebook and Instagram will also be made available in Iraq. People will be given the choice to see fewer electoral and political ads with disclaimers on their feeds.

To enable the electoral and political ads controls, people can adjust their ad topic preferences:

  1. Visit Ad Preferences then click Ad Topics.
  2. Under the list of Ad Topics, you’ll see a list of topics including Elections or Politics.
  3. Across from Elections or Politics, click See Fewer.

People can turn off electoral and political ads running with disclaimers by clicking on the top of these ads in their feed.

For more details on how to get authorized to run electoral and political ads, click here. You can also learn more about authorizations in this digital one-sheeter and step-by-step video.