Facebook plans to toughen up rules surrounding paid political advertising in order to prevent foreign interference in elections.
In his first public appearance since winning the job in October, former UK deputy prime minister and now Facebook global policy chief Sir Nick Clegg told reporters in Brussels today that Facebook will require political parties to register as advertisers on the platform.
“We will require those wanting to run political and issue ads to be authorised, and we will display a ‘paid for by’ disclaimer on those ads,” said Clegg.
The changes will go live before elections in the European parliament this spring.
Facebook later added it “has more than 30,000 people working on safety and security across the company, three times as many as we had in 2017”.
It aims to expand these tools globally before the end of June.
The social media giant has been under increasing scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers since it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica had improperly used Facebook data to target electoral advertising.
All political ads will be stored in a searchable online library for up to seven years, with information including how much was spent, who paid for the ad and the demographics of those who saw them.
The tools will also cover so-called issue ads, which relate to controversial topics such as immigration and do not back a specific party.
Facebook said it will set up regional operation centres in Dublin and Singapore to monitor its election-related content, designed to “add a layer of defence against fake news, hate speech and voter suppression”.
Clegg denied reports that the tech firm had plans to launch a subscription-based service in the place of its existing ads-only business model.