Latest in Gear

Image credit: Thomas Trutschel via Getty Images

Facebook delays identity checks for UK political ads following abuses

It realized people could game the system.
101 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Thomas Trutschel via Getty Images

Facebook is delaying its identity checks for political ads in the UK. The internet giant told The Guardian in a statement that it was delaying the requirement to December after realizing people could "game the disclaimer system" by entering bogus information. It'll institute the requirement after it adds "enforcement systems" to ensure accuracy, according to a spokesperson. The move came after a series of exposés that showed how easy it was to attach fake identities to disclosures, both in the UK and in the US.

Business Insider set up fake anti-Brexit ads attributed to Cambridge Analytica, for instance, while Vice News ran bogus ads linked to ISIS and Mike Pence. ProPublica, meanwhile, discovered that the pro-Trump "Energy4US" group was really a facade for oil giants hoping to prop up fossil fuels. Facebook said it required that people represent themselves "accurately," but the company approved all of the disclosures in spite of identity mismatches.

While it's not certain what Facebook will do to improve its identity checks, but it's under a lot of pressure to do so. Local UK elections are due in May, and rival service Twitter has stricter disclosure policies that tie disclosure to employment records and thus reduce the chances for abuse. If Facebook didn't refine its process, it risked accusations of allowing election interference campaigns that wouldn't fly elsewhere.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
101 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Blue's Yeti X microphone comes with everything you need to sound like a pro

Blue's Yeti X microphone comes with everything you need to sound like a pro

View
Uber will restrict NYC drivers' access to app due to new regulations

Uber will restrict NYC drivers' access to app due to new regulations

View
GNU founder Richard Stallman resigns from MIT, Free Software Foundation

GNU founder Richard Stallman resigns from MIT, Free Software Foundation

View
 FCC approves first commercial use of 3.5GHz band

FCC approves first commercial use of 3.5GHz band

View
What's on TV: 'Spider-Man: Far From Home'

What's on TV: 'Spider-Man: Far From Home'

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr