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Facebook has rolled out its political ad transparency tools across the EU, two months before European Parliament elections take place.
Turnout for these elections has historically been low, and experts have warned that this year's vote is vulnerable to foreign interference.
Tools - Stricter - Checks - Anyone - Planning
The tools involve stricter checks on anyone planning to use Facebook for political ads relating to the elections or campaign issues.
Advertisers will need to submit documents and pass Facebook's ID and location checks in order to run political or issue-based ads.
Campaigners - Candidates - Facebook - Ads - Elections
Political campaigners and candidates running Facebook ads about the upcoming European elections will need to undergo strict checks for the first time as part of the social network's efforts to combat foreign interference.
Facebook will ask anyone running ads relating to the European Parliament elections in May to provide documentary evidence of their identity and location. They will need to be "authorised in their country" to run ads about the election.
Facebook - Advertisers - Information - Combination - Tech
Facebook said it would check advertisers' information through a combination of automated tech and reports from users, but didn't go into further detail about how this would reliably work in practice.
The new system includes ads relating to hot-button campaign issues such as immigration, not just those about political parties and candidates.
Facebook - Ads - Elections - Campaign - Issues
Facebook will archive all ads relating to the elections and campaign issues in a dedicated, searchable library which will display information about the advertiser, their location, and how much they paid for the ad.
Facebook originally announced the European ad tools in January, and said on Thursday that it plans to roll the system out in April. The elections are due to take place on different dates through the EU toward the end of May.
EU - Officials - Facebook - January - Systems
EU officials criticised Facebook in January for not rolling out systems to tackle disinformation fast enough, but later praised the firm for making the tools operational before the election.
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