Facebook unveils new tactics to safeguard European elections

Facebook European Elections

Facebook will do more to prevent foreign interference in the European elections.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Facebook will tackle foreign interference during the upcoming European elections with a new set of tools.

The social network will focus on preventing foreign interference through online advertising, and increasing transparency across political advertising in general.

 Advertisers in the EU will have to submit documents confirming their identity and location, and all political adverts must be clearly labelled.

Facebook’s vice president of global policy solutions Richard Allan said: "These changes will not prevent abuse entirely.

"We're up against smart, creative and well-funded adversaries who change their tactics as we spot abuse.

"But we believe that they will help prevent future interference in elections on Facebook."

The company is also opening up its Ad Library, allowing people to find out more information about political adverts, such as the number of times they have been viewed and demographics about the audience reached.

This latest announcement builds on previous attempts to curb foreign actors’ interference in elections and referenda, such as the Irish 2018 abortion referendum.

The tech giant took the decision to block advertisers from outside the Republic during the 2018 abortion referendum campaign.

It has also combatted Russian interference in the Ukrainian presidential elections, removing nearly 2,000 Russian-linked pages, groups and accounts earlier this week.

In February, Twitter launched its own political advert transparency tool, while Microsoft started alerting think tanks and non-profit organisations across Europe which it detected as being targets of cyber attackers.


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