Facebook’s latest push towards complete transparency has backfired courtesy of Vice News’s latest investigative work. The digital news platform posed as 100 US senators and found that the Facebook “Paid for By” system was full of flaws and systemic issues that meant the news company could post ads on behalf of the Senators with Facebook’s full approval.
“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.
What’s more, all of these approvals were granted to be shared from pages for fake political groups such as “Cookies for Political Transparency” and “Ninja Turtles PAC.” VICE News did not buy any Facebook ads as part of the test; rather, we received approval to include “Paid for by” disclosures for potential ads.”
Facebook have yet to comment on these developments.