Facebook postpones political ad transparency feature for UK

London: Facebook is delaying the planned launch of its political ads transparency feature in Britain that requires advertisers to disclose their identity, The Guardian reported.

The social networking giant was planning to launch the feature on Wednesday. But realising how easy it was to abuse the disclaimer system, Facebook has now postponed the launch of the feature to “the next month”.

The move came after a spate of failures on the part of the company to vet disclosures in the US and Britain, the report said.

“We have learned that some people may try to game the disclaimer system by entering inaccurate details and have been working to improve our review process to detect and prevent this kind of abuse,” a Facebook spokesperson told the Guardian.

Facebook rolled out the first phase of its UK political advertising transparency effort in October, but it was not a compulsory requirement at that time.

The feature lets political advertisers register to prove their location, and disclose who had paid for particular ads.

Facebook had initially planned to make the system compulsory by November 7, but a damaging series of stories cast doubts on the effectiveness of the project.

In an expose, Vice News showed how easily the system could be abused in the US. It used the system to “disclose” that ads were paid for by every single US senator, vice-president Mike Pence, and Islamic State.

Facebook approved every disclosure, and the ads entered the archive intact, the report said.

Similar incidents were reported from Britain as well.