“We posed as 100 Senators to run ads on Facebook. Facebook approved all of them.”

VICE:

One of Facebook’s major efforts to add transparency to political advertisements is to require those paying for the ads to make a “Paid for by” disclosure, which appears at the top of the ad and supposedly tells users who is paying for political ads that show up in their news feeds.

But on the eve of the 2018 midterm elections, a VICE News investigation found the “Paid for by” feature is easily manipulated, and appears to allow anyone to lie about who is paying for a political ad, or to pose as someone else paying for the ad.

To test it, VICE News applied to buy fake ads on behalf of all 100 sitting U.S. senators, including ads “Paid for by” by Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer. Facebook’s approvals were bipartisan: All 100 sailed through the system, indicating that just about anyone can buy an ad identified as “Paid for by” by a major U.S. politician.

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