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What You Need to Know About Facebook’s Political Ad Regulations

Updated: Jul 12, 2022

Restrictions of political ads are nothing new, with Twitter outright banning them in 2019. With that being said, despite the fact that Facebook itself has not outright banned political ads from its platform, there are some changes in recent years you should be made aware of.

It should be noted that while allowed in most of the United States, such advertisements are prohibited from running in or targeting the state of Washington if they pertain to Washington's state or municipal elected officials, candidates, elections, or ballot initiatives. In addition, advertisements pertaining to Seattle legislation are prohibited in the state of Washington.

Advertisers outside of that area that wish to develop or amend advertising regarding social problems, elections, or politics in the United States will be required to get authorization and include "Paid for by" disclaimers. This includes anybody who creates, modifies, publishes, or pauses political advertisements, including "get out the vote" efforts. The commercials will then be archived for seven years in the Ad Library.

If you run ads about social issues, elections, or politics without authorization, provide false or misleading information during the authorization process, or violate Facebook's Advertising Policies, Community Standards, or other Meta policies and terms, your profile and ad accounts may be restricted.

These limits may include the items listed below.

  • Disabling Existing Adverts

  • Limiting the Capacity to Combine Pages

  • Limiting the Capacity to Run Fresh Advertisements

  • Revocation of Advertising Authorization Related to Social Causes, Elections, or Politics

  • Unpublishing Relevant Pages

What Counts as a Political Ad

The phrase is more elastic than one may anticipate. Political advertising is those produced by, on behalf of, or about a current or previous candidate for public office, a political party, a political action committee, or an advocate for the outcome of an election to public office, including "get out the vote" and election information campaigns. This includes any advertisement that refers to a national legislative topic of public interest, regardless of where the advertisement is running.

Whether or whether you intended to run "political advertising," Facebook may assume that you are. The phrase "national legislative concerns of public interest" is intentionally imprecise.

Additionally Facebook currently includes the following legislative issues in a list of what they deemed to be political topics but this list may be expanded in the future

  • Abortion

  • Civil Rights

  • Crime

  • Economy

  • Education

  • Energy

  • Environment

  • Foreign Policy

  • Guns

  • Health

  • Immigration

  • Military

  • Social Security

  • Taxes

  • Terrorism

  • Values

That is a lot of issues. The wide definition of some of these problems may cause your work to be highlighted, regardless of how political you consider it to be. This is the essence of Facebook’s pre-authorization advice; even advertisements that you would not consider "political" might be highlighted. If they are marked, you cannot share them without consent or an appeal.

How Does This Affect Ad Targeting

Beginning on January 19, 2022, Facebook eliminated comprehensive targeting choices related to sensitive themes, such as causes, organizations, and public figures relating to health, race or ethnicity, political affiliation, religion, and sexual orientation, in order to prevent the abuse of underrepresented groups and minorities.

Examples are shown below.

Why Should You Get Authorized to Run Political Ads on Facebook

Whether or not you intended to run "political advertising," Facebook may assume you are. The phrase "national legislative concerns of public interest" is intentionally imprecise.

Additionally, at the time of its initial publishing, Facebook included the following legislative issues listed below in a list of political topics but this list may be expanded in the future.

That is a lot of issues. The wide definition of some of these problems may cause your work to be highlighted, regardless of how political you consider it to be. This is the essence of Facebook’s pre-authorization advice; even advertisements that you would not consider "political" might be highlighted. If they are marked, you cannot share them without consent or an appeal.

How do You Run Ads About Social Issues, Elections, or Politics

Before you may begin the ad permission procedure, you must be the Page administrator or advertiser for the Page from which you will run advertising pertaining to social issues, elections, or politics. If you are neither a Page administrator nor an advertiser, you should ask a Page administrator to add you as an administrator or share this material with the Page administrator so they can complete the ad authorization. A Page must have at least one verified Page administrator. This individual does not need to be the creator of a particular disclaimer in order to utilize it. Only the Page administrator may establish or update disclaimers for the country in which advertisements will run. Advertisers may create advertisements including disclaimers without Page admin access, so long as they are not writing or amending disclaimers.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication

A two-factor authentication is a security tool that, in addition to your password, helps safeguard your Facebook account. If two-factor authentication is set, you will be prompted to enter a unique login code or confirm your login attempt whenever Facebook is accessed from a browser or mobile device that you have not previously used. You can also receive notifications when an unauthorized browser or mobile device attempts to log in.

Turning On Or Managing Authentication

Follow the steps below to turn on two-factor authorization!

When configuring two-factor authentication on Facebook, you will be prompted to select one of three available security options.

Required Documentation

You must have a valid U.S. passport, driver's license, or state-issued identification card, as well as proof of a U.S. postal address.

Facebook will utilize your formal identification to verify your identity. To do this, they collaborate with reputable service suppliers. They may also utilize it to detect and prevent harm such as identity theft and impersonation. This helps keep you and other Facebook users secure. After you upload your I.D., it will be encrypted and securely kept. Facebook stores I.D.s for up to a year in order to assist in enhancing the algorithms that identify impersonation and fraudulent I.D.s. This can be reduced to 30 days at any time through your identification settings. To comply with local rules, they may retain your name and date of birth for longer. Facebook will also maintain your I.D.'s expiration date for a longer period of time in case they need to request a new document. Your ID will not be displayed on your profile, in advertisements, or to other administrators of your Pages or ad accounts.

How Do You Become an Authorized Purveyor of Political Ads

The authorization procedure is shown below. After linking your ad account, you’ll need to set a disclaimer, which we will explain more about later within this post.

Authorization Using a Desktop

Authorization Using the Mobile App

If Facebook was able to establish your primary country location prior to entering your postal address, your identity would be validated briefly. This indicates that you may proceed to step 2 of the ad authorization procedure while you await the arrival of your confirmation code. After you submit the confirmation number you get in the mail, you'll be temporarily approved for up to 21 days while Facebook processes your authorization completely. After receiving your letter in the mail, take the following actions.

Setting Up a Disclaimer

Your disclaimers must correctly identify the company or individual paying for your advertisements. Additionally, disclaimers do not replace legally mandated disclaimers and disclosures. Advertisers are independently responsible for ensuring that their adverts comply with all applicable regulations.

Disclaimers (with the exception of those that include your name) can be held by many Page administrators in addition to the original author. Facebook urges Page administrators to co-own disclaimers. If a Page's owner departs, changes, or loses their Page admin role or loses permissions, another Page admin will be able to claim a disclaimer.

There are five ways for advertisers to obtain disclaimers authorized, three of which rely on United States government resources to verify an organization's registered name so that it may be used in disclaimers.

Advertisers will earn a "Confirmed Organization" label if they give a U.S. street address, phone number, business email address, and a matching company website and can validate one of these three alternatives.

Smaller enterprises and local governments that lack these qualifications may pick between two alternatives. Advertisers that choose one of these choices will receive an "About this Ad" label.

In order to run advertisements pertaining to social problems, elections, or politics, you will need to disclose who is in charge of the Page by designating an authorized disclaimer as "Page Owner."

Now that you have all the necessary background knowledge, you may make your first political advertisement!

During the campaign design process, you must pick the Special Ad Category for advertising pertaining to social problems, elections, or politics.

Adding Your Audience

Click Audience in the navigation bar on the left (inside Ad Set). To avoid foreign meddling and promote authenticity and transparency, you may only target the nation in which you are located, and you must be permitted to run advertisements regarding social problems, elections, or politics. If you select Manual Placements, you will get the following warning: Some placements may not be accessible for advertising related to social problems, elections, or politics.

Reach Out to the Experts

At 7Social, we know political campaigns can be time-consuming, and the newest regulations on Facebook may be difficult to navigate. We are here to help. We offer packages to help you create and manage your advertisements and creative copy, starting at under $1000 per month. You can focus on the rest of your campaign, and we’ll keep your social media presence going.

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