New Rules for Political Ads Launch on Facebook and Google


News You Need to Know Now

Good Monday morning. It’s May 7th. Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers this Sunday, including the mothers in heart and spirit who never ad the opportunity to raise a child.


    • F8, Facebook’s big annual show, happened this week. There is plenty of news including the new dating function everyone is talking about.
    • Google introduced dot app–a place for mobile app downloads. They bought the rights to the entire top-level domain three years ago for only $25 million.
    • Twitter left a password file unprotected. Any password used there may have been compromised. If you’re still using the same password for multiple services, you need to stop. And if you’re using them on Twitter and another service, you need to change both.

Facebook Starts Advertiser ID Program

Facebook application screen for political ads

Facebook’s promise to track individuals purchasing political ads became real Friday afternoon when the first requests were sent to advertisers. This is part of my personal application. Here’s the process:

  • An application with a physical mailing address.
  • A copy of a driver’s license or passport including size and color requirements for the image.
  • A portion of your Social Security Number (like a credit application)
  • A letter with a code is sent to the address on the license to be entered in Facebook.
  • Only after all that matches are you cleared to run ads.
  • Whoever pays for the ads also has to be identified.
  • That identity will be be published for anyone to see, as will the ads that are run.

There are holes in this program. U.S. agencies could work for another country. Applicants can lie. But by making the information public, Facebook transfers a big part of political ads verification to the Internet. The wisdom of crowds won’t find everything improper, but you can be certain that people on the other side of an issue or political race will be motivated to look.

That’s the other promise Facebook made. These political ads are also defined as issue ads. Those can be anything from health care to gun violence prevention to the environment and everything in between.

“Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants,” wrote Judge Louis Brandeis in 1914. This type of advertising transparency has never been available before–and still isn’t required for broadcast ads.

EU’s Privacy Wars

Rigid data privacy laws in the EU take effect at the end of this month. They’re included in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and cover the privacy rights of all citizens of EU countries regardless of where a company is located.

This is why you’ve seen more notices on websites in the last month than you probably have in previous months combined. Any organization storing information, even an email address, from an EU citizen is subject to the regulation. 

Google is warning its advertising partners, those who place and those who publish ads, about the issue. 

Does a Main Street retailer need to address this? Well, maybe. You should check with your attorney. At the very least, your organization should have a great privacy policy that it abides by. Talk with your attorney.


We often tell you about voice being the new frontier of search. AudioBurst agrees and has an audio search engine for podcast and radio broadcasts

Facebook’s dating service will require a separate profile according to reporting at Recode. There will be a separate messaging app and a mix of automated suggestions and the ability to match others manually. And Facebook says that it will allow all users to clear their history on the platform. This is potentially the biggest program they announced.

Great Data

Understanding probability is a critical part of deciphering your organization’s online performance.

This fantastic website helps people understand that through a live experiment with your own birthday. If you had a fun statistics professor, you may have already participated in the birthday paradox. This website is still worth your time in how it educates users in a technical subject.

Featured image of political symbols: Larisa

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