Facebook’s new move is in favor to increase the transparency of active ads for measuring political elections after the platform was criticized for how adverts on the site were used in elections. The new Ad library shows an array of important information about an advert with public data on ads running on its platform.
Facebook’s Ads library, which was previously called the Ad Archive in the U.S., includes all active ads running on a Facebook page and not just only politics or issue ads. The latest version Ads Library will now be a central place to track the ads and other related information. However, earlier the information was just available only on a page in the Info and Ads section.
For each and every ad, the library gives information on who saw the ad, how much investment is done by the buyer to run the ad, and the number of impressions it received. The company says the library will now store advertisement for around 7 years after they run.
The new Ads Library will provide additional information about the pages including-
• Page creation dates
• Mergers with other Pages
• Page name changes
• Where a Page is managed from
The company made it easier for users to look for the information of ads within the pages. There, the “Home” tab of all the pages contain a “Page Transparency” section, where user can find similar information provided in the Ad Library like page creation, date, previous pages mergers, as well as the location of particular pages. According to the reports, the company will update the Ad Library Report on politics as well as issues ads on a daily basis, rather than weekly and monthly.
API ( Application Programme Interface) Access:
Facebook is also mounting access to the Ads Library API to a large community of researchers. To have access, researchers must go through Facebook’s Identity Confirmation process, where they have to create a Facebook Developer account, and accept the company’s ToS. The procedure of identity confirmation can take up to a few weeks.
Facebook also introduced new updates for political ads in the EU which includes, (1) advertisers should be the authorized member in their country to run the ads; (2) they should provide “paid for by” disclaimer. The ads would get archived in the Ad Library, and Facebook will block ads that do not meet the terms of service.
The company’s move and the amendments are the results of the pressure by election observers and researchers to provide transparency. But still, it is unclear if these modifications will meet the firm transparency standards in Washington State, which took Facebook under legal actions.