In late June, Facebook announced several measures to bring more transparency to Pages and their associated ad campaigns. Those included a new “Info and Ads” button that yielded information on ads run by the Page owner on Facebook and across its various properties and partner networks.
Today the company is introducing a companion measure that will seek to prevent bad actors from hiding behind fake or hijacked accounts and require identification of “primary country location” for Pages with large US audiences. (It’s not yet clear precisely what that threshold is.)
Facebook will now require people managing Pages to complete an authorization form:
Authorization asks people who manage these Pages to secure their account with two-factor authentication and confirm their primary home location. If a Page manager requires authorization, they’ll receive a notice at the top of their News Feed to begin the process. This should only take a few minutes to complete.
For those required to complete an authorization — Pages with large US audiences — failure to do so will prevent any further posting or updates and effectively lock them out. The new policy will roll out this month.
The point of all this, as well as a number of other measures Facebook is taking, is obviously to prevent the kind of deception and manipulation of audiences that plagued the 2016 presidential election and subsequent European elections — and is still a threat in the forthcoming US midterms.
The new information will be very helpful to journalists and political professionals, among others. The real question is whether “ordinary people,” the targets of deception on Facebook, will take the time to investigate where the information is coming from.