Today, Joel Kaplan, Vice President of Global Public Policy at Facebook joined Niamh Sweeney, Head of Public Policy for Facebook Ireland in front of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment to discuss the Online Advertising and Social Media (Transparency) Bill 2017. In his testimony to the committee, Joel reiterated Facebook’s commitment to transparency and giving users greater control over their data and visibility as to how they can exercise that control.

Facebook also announced that from April 25th, Ireland will be included in a pilot programme for the first phase of the view ads feature. This feature will give people greater transparency on the ads that they see on Facebook, which is particularly important in the context of the forthcoming referendum on the 8th amendment.

How View Ads Feature Works:

  • View ads is a new feature that will enable Irish users to see all ads an advertiser is running on Facebook at the same time, even if those ads are not in your News Feed.
  • Facebook users can click on the advertiser’s Page, select ‘About’ and scroll to ‘View Active Ads’ where they will see all of the ads that Page is running on Facebook.
  • This update is designed to help ensure users have the information needed to assess all ads on Facebook including political and issue ads.
  • See here for a demo of how it works on mobile version and a desktop demo

Earlier this month, Facebook announced a number of important changes to the way we manage ads and Pages on Facebook as well as Instagram. These are designed to increase transparency and accountability, as well as prevent election interference. You can read more about our effort to make ads and Pages more transparent here.

This announcement follows the launch of a false news educational notice to help people in Ireland spot false news. From April 12th, Irish users have had the opportunity to click on a notice at the top of their News Feed which offers advice on how to spot false news, such as checking the URL of the site, investigating the source of the news and looking for further reports on the topic. We also placed educational adverts across Irish press with tips on how to spot false news.

Facebook Ireland is a proud member of Media Literacy Ireland and supportive of its aim of empowering the Irish people with the skills and knowledge to engage with and understand traditional and new media.


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