What Does "Primary Country Location" Mean When Reviewing Political Ads on Facebook?
In the spirit of transparency, Facebook offers tools for viewing the political and issue ads appearing on their platform. While reviewing political ads running on Facebook, I noticed instances where the "primary country location for people who manage this Page includes" places besides the United States.
How is this information determined? Is it a guesstimate by Facebook? Does it rely on user provided information? It's not entirely clear (at least to me, a person who has not placed a political media buy).
As background, advertisers interested in placing social issue, political, or election related ads on Facebook for US audiences must first be authorized. There may be additional locale specific requirements depending on where in the US the ad will be shown.
During the initial advertiser verification process, Facebook requires confirmation of a Page Administrator's primary country of residence via an official government supplied identification. Facebook says that after confirming identity, information will not be shared and the identification used for verification will be deleted.
Furthermore, "[i]n addition to the Page admin who's creating the disclaimers, any person creating, modifying, publishing or pausing ads about social issues, elections or politics will need to have their identity confirmed" according to Facebook.
Which leads back to the question, "what does "primary location information" mean when viewing political ads?" Can one rely on documentation about Facebook Pages or is there a separate definition and algorithm for advertising?
While I failed to find an explicit answer related to advertising, online documentation for Facebook Pages, states "primary country location where a Page is managed is determined by a person’s information and activity on Facebook Products, including the stated location on their Facebook profile, and device and connection information."
With restrictions on foreign involvement in American elections, Facebook should do a better job of explaining how primary location information is determined.
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