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Facebook ramps up ad transparency ahead of India’s 2019 elections

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Narendra Modi, India's prime minister, left, speaks as Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Facebook, listens during a town hall meeting at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California, U.S., on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015.

David Paul Morris |Bloomberg | Getty Images

Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, left, speaks as Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Facebook, listens during a town hall meeting at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California, U.S., on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015.

Advertisers in India who want to run political ads on Facebook will need to confirm their identity and location to prevent abuse of the system ahead of the 2019 general elections, the social networking site said.

As the world’s largest democracy heads to polls next year for its general elections, Facebook announced Thursday that the new transparency measures were aimed at defending any possible foreign interference in the polls.

Advertisers seeking to run ads related to Indian politics will have to use their devices to submit proof of identity and location. This confirmation process might take a few weeks, the social media firm said.

“It’s important that people know more about the ads they see — especially those that reference political figures, political parties, elections, and legislation. That’s why we’re making big changes to the way we manage these ads on Facebook and Instagram,” Facebook said. “By authorizing advertisers and bringing more transparency to ads, we can better defend against foreign interference in India’s elections.”

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