Facebook is delaying its plans to require British political advertisers to verify their identity, the Guardian can reveal, after a spate of failures on the part of the company to vet disclosers in the UK and US.
The social network will bring in the requirement “in the next month”, it says, pushing back the initial deadline of Wednesday 7 November.
“We have learnt 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 said in a statement.
“Once we have strengthened our process for ensuring the accuracy of disclaimers, we will be introducing enforcement systems to identify political advertisers and require them to go through the authorisation process.”
Facebook launched the first phase of its UK political advertising transparency effort in October, allowing political advertisers to register to prove their location, and creating a voluntary system whereby they could disclose who had paid for particular adverts, and add them to an Ad Library where they would be archived for seven years.
The company had initially planned to make the system compulsory by 7 November, but in the intervening time, a damaging series of stories cast doubts on the effectiveness of the project.