Facebook’s New Way to Verify Ads: Postcards

Facebook Postcards

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has taken a lot of flack for its on-site advertising which perpetuated fake news. In particular reference to its influence on the 2016 US presidential election. The social media company has been working ever since on ways of lowering the risk of fake news. The company’s latest solution? Facebook Postcards.

Sounds a bit silly when you put it like that, but the principle is sound. People or companies looking to buy political ads on Facebook will be sent a postcard with a code, to confirm that they are residents of the United States. Then, they enter this code on Facebook to continue buying the ad.

In principle, this is a good idea. However, it doesn’t solve everything. For example, wouldn’t foreign bodies be able to set up a local mailing address? There are ways around the postcard concept, and Facebook hasn’t gone into much detail yet about how extensive this plan gets.

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Additionally, imagine having to wait for a postcard to arrive in the mail before being able to continue buying an ad? How much slower would the ad-buying process be? It would never be as instant as, say, an email.

This ‘solution’ is currently only being applied to political ads, and even more specifically, only to political ads that name candidates ahead of the upcoming elections. What about regular, non-political ads? Shouldn’t we be concerned about those too?

The postcard solution isn’t the only thing Facebook has been working on to eliminate fake news. Using improved machine learning techniques, for example, the company was able to detect and remove thousands of fake pages last year ahead of French, British, and German elections.

Facebook will also be doubling the number of staff working on safety and security for the company to 20,000 this year and an additional 1,000 people will be added to review advertising content.

Featured image: mohamed_hassan