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Facebook announces it will allow users to easily access information on political ads

Political ads on social sites

Facebook announced Friday that it will be allowing users to easily access information on its political ads, coming just days after Twitter announced its own transparency rules.

"Starting next month, people will be able to click "View Ads" on a Page and view ads a Page is running, whether or not the person viewing is in the intended target audience for the ad," wrote Rob Goldman, Facebook's vice president of ads, in a blog post Friday.

"All Pages will be part of this effort, and we will require that all ads be associated with a Page as part of the ad creation process," he added.  

This will start as a test in Canada, Goldman said, and Facebook will "roll it out to the U.S. by this summer" ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. It will also be expanded to other countries around the same period.

Twitter announces new ad policy

"During this initial test, we will only show active ads," Goldman wrote. "However, when we expand to the US we plan to begin building an archive of federal-election related ads so that we can show both current and historical federal-election related ads."

For each federal election-related ad, Facebook will provide details on the total amount spent, provide the number of "impressions" that it delivered, provide demographics information and include the ad in a searchable archive.

This comes ahead of a congressional hearing next Wednesday in which several Silicon Valley tech giants will testify before lawmakers.

Facebook revealed in September that it sold $100,000 in ad spending between June 2015 and May of this year that was connected to "inauthentic" accounts that analysts concluded were operated out of Russia.

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