Facebook is changing its political advertising rules to ban parties and campaigns from advertising in countries where they do not have a representative.
“If they do not have a representative located in the country in which they want to advertise, they will not be able to do so,” explained Facebook executive Richard Allen, adding that advertisers would soon face “unprecedented levels of accountability.”
Allan declared, “We have guidance from experts to do everything we can to protect the integrity of the elections — recognising fully that this will cause inconvenience to parties that have been able to campaign before.”
Rob Leathern, Facebook’s Director of Product Management, also revealed that “identity documents” would be needed from political advertisers to confirm their location, and that advertisements “related to politics and issues on Facebook and Instagram in the EU” would be required to be labeled with a “paid by” notice.
The changes were criticized by left-wing politicians in the European Union, including Belgian MEP and Leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, Guy Verhofstadt, who claimed the changes contribute to the “killing the idea of European democracy.”
According to the Financial Times, critics like Verhofstadt allege that the changes “will harm them more than Russian troll factories.”
“It should be possible to stop shady interference from foreign countries without cutting off genuine pan-European debate,” complained German MEP and leader of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, Udo Bullmann. “As a staunch pro-European, we hoped Mr Clegg would understand this.”