Important changes to the way we manage ads and Pages on Facebook.
These are designed to increase transparency and accountability, as well as prevent election interference as seen in the Cambridge Analytica abuse of data.
So what happened?
Facebook has been engulfed in a growing scandal over the way it harvests data.
Here’s more on what happened if you missed it!
In short, people’s data has been collected to try and understand more about them and change how they vote. That’s been the work of Cambridge Analytica, a data company that has been credited with helping both the Donald Trump and Brexit campaigns achieve their victories (source: independent.co.uk) The company built special software that tricked people into giving up their personal information (and their friends) by appearing to be a fun Facebook quiz called “This Is Your Digital Life.”
Where you targeted?
Check here on your account >>> ? >>> type in Cambridge Analytica >>> How can I tell….
Why is this so important?
The main point is the way your data might have been used.This sort of data is collected by dodgy companies all of the time so it’s likely you’ve already been caught up in something similar by downloading a questionable app or taking a quiz. This time though, the data was not being used for just any advertising. It was used to sway people not only to buy things but to change how they vote and who runs the world. It plays into all sorts of broader issues, human rights and that those votes were stolen, and don’t really represent the true state of affairs.
Two big changes that have been made / coming from Facebook:
Facebook response…. “We know we were slow to pick-up foreign interference in the 2016 US elections. Today’s updates are designed to prevent future abuse in elections — and to help ensure you have the information that you need to assess political and issue ads, as well as content on Pages. By increasing transparency around ads and Pages on Facebook, we can increase accountability for advertisers — improving our service for everyone.”
- Facebook is also going to require people who manage large pages to be verified. “This will make it much harder for people to run pages using fake accounts, or to grow virally and spread misinformation or divisive content that way,” Zuckerburg says. Those who manage large Pages that do not clear the process will no longer be able to post. It is not clear yet what constitutes a ‘large page,’ or exactly what the verification process entails, or even whether the verification will be the publicly displayed blue check badge.
- Increased Transparency and Accountability for Electoral posts. Anyone that wants to show “issue ads” — like political topics that are being debated across the country. Facebook are working with third parties to develop a list of key issues, which they will refine over time. To get authorized by Facebook, advertisers will need to confirm their identity and location. Advertisers will be prohibited from running political ads — electoral or issue-based — until they are authorized. In addition, these ads will be clearly labeled in the top left corner as “Political Ad.” Next to it we will show “paid for by” information.
What can you do right now?
- Be alert and cautious about everything you do online.
- Check your settings.
- Changing your password regularly is useful to stay one step ahead of scams and fake accounts.
- Be sure to create and run an engaged group, linked to your Facebook Page.
- Clean up your information to keep closer tabs on your online presence.
- For example, delete apps that you don’t know or have given info to before that you are not engaging in, look through your page connections and tidy up the numbers you are tapped into. Is your friends list too big now and you don’t know some of them?
- If you do join up to third parties, do so from your email, not directly through your Facebook account.
Just about every service is trying to take your data which shows just how valuable it is, and therefore how important it is to make sure it doesn’t get into the hands of people who want to exploit you with it. De-cluttering your online footprint, will make you feel amazing and taking the power back into your own hands is a wise use of social.