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Facebook will Verify US Election Ad Buyers by Sending Postcards

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Who knew postcards were still a thing? 

They will probably come back into fashion after Facebook announced it will be sending postcards to advertisers running US election-based ads.

Facebook got themselves into quite a pickle during the 2016 US Presidential election when it was found that certain advertisers were trying to spread fake news and disinformation in order to impact the elections results.

Anyone who now runs a Facebook ad mentioning any candidate running for federal office will receive a postcard with a unique verification code to verify their address and identity.

Postcards will not be sent to people who apply to use issue-based political ads.

Facebook states that this won’t solve the problem entirely, but they believe it will minimize the amount of people who are buying media on Facebook and claiming to be someone else.

As of yet, Facebook has not given a date for when they will start sending out postcards or how the advertisers will need to verify the code.

Why is Facebook sending out postcards?

The medium of postcard is the best solution they could come up with before 2018.

US federal law states that foreign entities are not allowed to contribute or offer expenditures toward any election campaigns. The law also states that candidates and their party communities must disclose how much money they spend on advertising.

The postcard verification method will allow Facebook better tie accounts to the right parties, and it will minimize foreign ad buyers from trying to impact voter opinions or election results.

Rumors estimate that a Russian group spent around $100,000 in ad spend during the last US election and reached over 146 million Americans on Facebook and Instagram through a combination of organic and paid ads.

Facebook didn’t have too much to say on the matter, but I expect to hear more about their postcard method later in the year.