Facebook political transparency rules block charities and small businesses


A December 2018 analysis found that Facebook's measures for improving election security and discouraging anonymous political messages were poorly executed and inconsistently applied, and placed an unfair burden on charitable organisations and small businesses while simultaneously being easy for organised and well-funded actors to bypass. Facebook blocked non-profits such as New York's Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Arts Japan 2020, and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts from promoting "harmless" postings. Other reports have seen Facebook's election security policies block ad campaigns from community centres, national parks, and charities serving wounded veterans. Obtaining Facebook's authorisation to run ads deemed political requires an individual to send the company their Social Security number, residential address, and a photo showing the individual holding their passport or driver's licence, which many are loath to do. Further, under the rules it would be that individual held responsible if the non-profit later contravened the rules. 

Writer: Daniel Gallant
Publication: Wall Street Journal

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