Vice News received approval to publish Facebook ads in the names of every U.S. senator in a further illustration of the weakness of the social media giants “paid for” attribution system for political ads.
A recent report from Vice News showed how easily Facebook’s new political advertising tools can be manipulated with little to no verification by Facebook. The social media giant added a mandatory “Paid For” disclosure to political ads in May, which aimed to provide further clarity to the origin of political advertisements on the website. Instead, it appears that this mandatory field can be used to spread misinformation.
Vice first successfully placed ads on Facebook using the name of a number of prominent political figures and groups including Vice President Mike Pence, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez, and even the terrorist group ISIS. All of these ads were approved by Facebook with the names of these political figures and groups included within the “Paid For” disclosure.
Now Vice News has shown once again how easily the political advertising system can be fooled, this time by posing as 100 U.S. senators and successfully running advertisements indicating they were “paid for” by each senator.
Vice News reports:
But on the eve of the 2018 midterm elections, a VICE News investigation found the “Paid for by” feature is easily manipulated and appears to allow anyone to lie about who is paying for a political ad, or to pose as someone paying for the ad.