Since the most recent election, Facebook has strengthened the authorizations required to run ads for social issues, elections or political campaigns. The ultimate goal of these authorizations is to prove you are a citizen of the country in which the issue is being debated and that you are authorized to run ads on the page’s behalf. Facebook states that:
Knowing more about who’s responsible for the content and funding of ads that discuss political candidates, elected officials, and national issues like education and immigration is part of Facebook’s election integrity effort.
Seems straightforward enough, but there are several steps required, many of which could take several days, so you’ll want to plan in advance if, like me, you are assisting with any type of social issue or campaign. If you are planning paid social media campaigns around any social issue, here’s how to get authorized to run political ads on Facebook.
10/21/19 UPDATE: Facebook has released this article regarding updates to Election Integrity Efforts, noting among other things that: “Pages that have gone through the new authorization process to run ads about social issues, elections or politics in the US will also have a new confirmed owner tab. And starting in January, these advertisers will be required to show their Confirmed Page Owner.”
Facebook Ad Authorization Process
In the United States, any advertiser who wants to create or edit ads about social issues or elections, political figures or parties, is required to be authorized, to place “paid for by” disclaimers on ads, and have those ads placed in the Ad Library. Here’s an example.
To get that “paid for by” disclaimer, make sure you have the following in place to get started:
Facebook Page Admin Role
Make sure you are a Page Admin of the page on which you’re running ads. Only the page admin can complete this process, so you’ll need to request admin access from the page admin if you do not already have this role.
Once you have a page admin role, using a computer go to the page you need to authorize and click settings>authorizations in order to complete the authorization process. This can not be completed from a mobile device at this time. From the authorizations section, do the following:
Confirm Your Identity
Anyone who will create or manage paid advertisements for political or social issues must confirm their identity on Facebook. Thankfully this process only needs to be completed once, even if you are managing multiple pages. To confirm your identity, choose the country in which you’ll be running ads, then follow the steps outlined by Facebook, which will include the following:
Enable Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication is a security feature that helps protect both your account and your password from unauthorized login attempts. You’ll need to use an authentication method such as Google Authenticator (available in the Google Play Store) or SMS messaging. Each time you log in from a device Facebook doesn’t recognize it will require you authenticate with a code. It will also email you if it detects an authorized attempt at login.
Confirm Your Mailing Address
Enter your street address (P.O. Boxes are not accepted) and Facebook will mail a security code to that address, which could take several days. When you receive the mailing, it will contain instructions on how to finalize confirming your address, including the URL and code required.
Submit your Personal ID
To confirm your personal ID, Facebook will require you upload an image of your personal identification, such as the front and back of your state-issued drivers license. It will also require you to answer three security questions.
Hint: none of the personal information you provide will be visible on the profile or in the ads you run.
Create Your Facebook Ad Disclaimers
Next, you’ll need to create an ad disclaimer that displays clearly who is paying for the Facebook ad. Ads with this disclaimer will include a “confirmed organization” icon and display the full name of the organization paying for the ad.
Facebook says that:
Ads about social issues, elections or politics must run with a disclaimer that says who paid for the ad. You can use your name or the name of an organization in the disclaimer. You’ll need to provide information to confirm your connection to an organization if you want to use it’s name. Once you run ads using the disclaimer, the information you provide here will be made publicly available along with your ads and for 7 years in the Ad Library.
As of September 17, 2019 Facebook further strengthened its disclaimer requirements. In addition to the disclaimer, you’ll also need to provide the following information in order to confirm your connection to the organization:
- Organization Name
- Mailing Address
- Email (address must be the same as your website domain. No Gmail or other general emails will be accepted)
- Website address
Additional Information (Optional)
- Treasurer Name
- Director Name
- Point of Contact
- Committee Id
Link your Facebook Ad Account to the Disclaimer
Once you’ve created the Facebook ad account in your Facebook business manager, you’ll need to link the disclaimer to that ad account. Follow the steps under Settings>Authorizations to complete this step. Facebook will display a list of all your add accounts, choose the one you want to link and click next, then review and save.
If you plan to place ads on your Instagram account, you’ll need to authorize it by linking it to the Facebook page under Settings>Instagram.
Create your Facebook Political Ads
Once you’ve completed these steps you can start running your ads as normal! The process for creating ads is the same from here forward. Note that Facebook will still watch for signs that political or social ads originate from within the authorized country, and ads can still be disapproved even if you’ve completed the authorization process.
Facebook Political Ads: More Information
For complete and up to date instructions on this process, visit Facebook’s help section on Ads About Social Issues, Elections or Politics.