Facebook Extends Political Ads Rules to Balkans Before Elections

Facebook has added Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Moldova and Turkey to its updated list of countries that must adhere to its strict political advertising transparency regulations.

The enforcement of the new regulations is expected in mid-March, about a month before parliamentary elections in Serbia and North Macedonia, due on April 26 and April 12 respectively. Montenegro is also due to hold the elections this year, by October at the latest.  

Facebook launched the regulations in June last year. They mean that any adverts paid for by a political group or candidate must be labelled as such. 

With the new 32 countries, the total count of states required to stick to the regulations, which relate to any adverts about social issues, elections or politics, rose to 89.

Apart from the five Balkan countries, the regulations will also expand to Chile, Japan, Mexico and Indonesia, to name a few. Facebook said it was working to expand enforcement to more countries later this year, including Myanmar and Brazil.

"Anyone who wants to run ads about elections or politics in these countries will need to confirm their identity with an ID issued from the country they want to run ads in and disclose who is responsible for the ad.

"We require that the advertiser provide additional information, like a local business address, local phone number, email and website, if they choose to use their organization or Page name in the disclaimer. These requirements hold advertisers accountable for the ads they run on Facebook and Instagram," the social media giant wrote on its Facebook for Business website. 

While political ads will be more transparent, the requirements are also designed to ensure that Facebook can list political advertisers in its...

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