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Facebook (FB) Enhances Ad Transparency Ahead of EU Election

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Facebook (FB - Free Report) is putting further efforts to improve transparency and security on its platform in view of European Parliamentary (EU) election this May.

The company recently announced that it is developing stricter policies for political ads placed on the platform. These measures are aimed at preventing any foreign interference in the upcoming election, especially after the Cambridge Analytica scandal that impacted 87 million subscribers on its platform.

Earlier, Facebook had stated that it is closely working with the Election Commission of India (EC) and employed fact-checking teams to prevent any misuse of the platform ahead of the election in the country.

Notably, Twitter (TWTR - Free Report) , Alphabet’s (GOOGL - Free Report) Google, Sharechat and TikTok representatives had also been summoned by the EC in India mandating them to follow the code of conduct for transparency in political ads.

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Security Measures in EU

Facebook now requires advertisers in European Union (EU) to present necessary documents, before placing political and issue-based ads, allowing the company to confirm their identity and location.

Additionally, all political ads placed on Facebook and Instagram should include a “Paid for by” label on top of the ad. The label will contain information about the sponsor of the ad, their contact details and budget.

Information about the number of people accessing the ad, their demographics like gender, age and location will also be revealed. Notably from mid-April, Facebook will block all political ads that do not comply with the above rules.

With the help of a new tool called Ad Library governments, election regulators and watchdog groups can now access all political and issue-based ads on Facebook. The library will also disclose details such as the number of times the ads were viewed by users and their demographics.

Facebook Boosts Security Measures from All Spheres

Facebook has been increasing efforts to boost security across its platforms. The company recently announced plans to introduce features that will completely secure user data on its messaging platforms, thereby making data accessibility harder.

Currently WhatsApp has an end-to-end encryption feature and Instagram has an ephemeral messaging feature i.e. messages that cease to exist after a set time. Facebook is looking to bring these features to all the content that needs to be secured.

The move is expected to boost user confidence at a time when Facebook has been mired in controversies owing to its failure in securing user data. This may help the Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock regain its popularity among teens as Facebook is the most used social network among all age groups, excluding teens, per eMarketer.

Notably, Snap’s (SNAP - Free Report) Snapchat topped the popularity chart with 16.4 million teens using the service compared with 11.5 million Facebook teen users.

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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