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Facebook won't require political ad labels for news outlets

The change will start in the UK and expand to the US and elsewhere.
AJ Dellinger, @ajdell
November 29, 2018
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Earlier this year, Facebook announced and enacted a plan to require all political advertisements to carry a "Paid for by" label and be listed in an ad archive. Now the company is granting an exemption for those requirements to legitimate news publications. Promoted posts and ads run by approved news outlets will once again able to appear in the News Feed without undergoing Facebook's transparency protocol. The exemption will start in the UK (today also marks the start of ad transparency enforcement in the region) and will come to the US and other countries next year.

Facebook didn't announce the exact criteria that a publisher will have to meet in order to be granted immunity from the ad crackdown. In the UK, the company is using member lists from news industry groups. Facebook did say it will use its news index, which launched earlier this year to identify Pages of legitimate news sites, to help determine exemption-worthy publications. The news index requires publications to focus primarily on current events and information, cite sources and include bylines and dates in order to be included.

The exemption process marks a 180 from Facebook's initial stance on labeling advertisements from publishers. The company said in June that there was too much potential for abuse, but seems to believe it now has the tools to ensure fake news publications and spam sites don't slip through the cracks.

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