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Image credit: Dominic Lipinski - PA Images via Getty Images

Facebook will label political ads and note who paid for them

The platform will start doing so this spring.
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Dominic Lipinski - PA Images via Getty Images

Facebook vowed in October it would require electoral advertisers to identify themselves. Now they're expanding that to include anyone who buys an ad about 'issues' -- as in, political topics debated across the country. Anyone advertising in either of those categories must confirm who and where they are to get 'verified' -- and their messages won't appear until they do. Crucially, the advertisements themselves will bear the label 'Political Ad' in the top-left corner and disclose who paid for it, which will start rolling out in the US this spring.

Verification will hopefully cut down on fake accounts, which Facebook has been cracking down on. Additionally, the platform will now require users running large pages to be verified, which the company hopes will mitigate misinformation. But the clock is ticking to take these steps in time for highly-anticipated upcoming elections, namely the 2018 US midterms. To do that, Facebook is in the process of hiring thousands of more people, Zuckerberg said in a personal post, reiterating his comments days ago that the 15,000 people currently manually reviewing content will be increased to 20,000 later this year.

Once dismissive of Facebook's impact on the 2016 presidential elections, Zuckerberg sounds committed to mitigating abuse on the platform. In his post today, he's even come out in support of pending transparency-in-advertising legislation: "Election interference is a problem that's bigger than any one platform, and that's why we support the Honest Ads Act. This will help raise the bar for all political advertising online."

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