Facebook can only guarantee political ad transparency after Senate election

Facebook will not be able to guarantee that the company is transparent about the placement of political advertisements before the provincial states elections next month, Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations wrote in a letter to parliament, NOS reports.

At parliament's request, Ollongren recently asked Facebook to speed up this process. The Dutch parliamentarians wanted Facebook to take additional measures against misinformation by no later than three weeks before the provincial states election, during which the Dutch Senate is elected, on March 20th. These measures include marking political advertisements so that they are easily recognizable as such, as well as a "searchable digital library" of such ads, according to NOS. 

According to Ollongren, Facebook said in a reaction that these measures will be implemented at the end of March, in all EU countries at the same time. They will therefore be in force during the European elections at the end of May, but not for the provincial states election. The Minister emphasized that political parties themselves can help combat misinformation by being transparent about their online advertisements. 

Twitter also announced anti-fake news measures during elections. Twitter in the European Union will only allow political advertisements from parties that are registered with the company and have confirmed their identity. In this way, Twitter users should be better able to see what organizations are behind ads and what their target group is. The new measures will take effect on March 11th.