May 1, 2019

Facebook ad ban 'over Downpatrick's geographic location'

Facebook blocked an election candidate from posting adverts after it wrongly recorded his County Down address as being in the Republic of Ireland. In 2017, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg pledged to make political advertising more transparent on his network, after the firm was caught up in controversy over alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election. He told BBC News NI that since the problem emerged more than two months ago, he has provided Facebook with 29 separate forms of identification in order to prove that his Downpatrick address is in the UK. He also asked the council's chief executive to write a letter for Facebook, confirming that the entire Newry, Mourne and Down Council area is located within Northern Ireland. The councillor said he received a call from a Facebook manager on Tuesday morning, shortly after his story was published in the Irish News, but the advertising ban still had not been lifted. "A Facebook spokespeson said:"Last year, we introduced new tools and policies in the United Kingdom to help prevent abuse and election interference.

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