Facebook passes new rules on political ads

70 Facebook and 65 Instagram accounts of Russia-based IRA removed

The company has been refining its response in the wake of revelations that data on as many as 87 million people, majority in the US, may have been improperly shared with research firm Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook is also facing an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission in what's become its worst privacy crisis in its 14-year history.

Advertisers that don't pass muster will be banned from running political ads until they can be authorised.

In addition, Facebook says it will also require the administrators of pages with a "large number" of followers to verify their identities and addresses.

Some advertisers have curtailed spending, Sandberg said in an interview on Thursday at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, California, where she acknowledged that her team has a long way to go to reassure wary customers.

The company will be expanding the authorisation process for political advertisers to include ads that focus on issues, like reproductive rights or housing.

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Facebook is working to strengthen its system ahead of this year's US midterm elections and other elections around the world.

That legislation was introduced last October to counter concerns about foreign nationals using social media to influence American politics, an issue being looked at as part of an investigation into possible Russian meddling during the 2016 USA presidential campaign.

The news comes just weeks after the Cambridge Analytica scandal which has seen Zuckerberg admit that tens of millions of users probably had their data scraped.

Facebook users can opt out of seeing targeted ads, but can't shut off ads altogether.

While Facebook says the number of affected users was "over inclusive", Ankush Johar, Director at Infosec Ventures - security solutions firm - didn't agree, fearing the actual figure may be "exponentially bigger". It said that Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer had also been called as a witness.

The company is facing a global backlash over the improper data-sharing scandal. And now, social media giant Facebook in several months will make available to its users a feature that will save them from this regret.

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Zuckerberg is scheduled to appear on Tuesday before a joint hearing of two U.S. Senate committees, and on Wednesday before a U.S. House committee.

Mr Wigand added that the EU's data protection authorities will discuss over the coming days "a strong co-ordinated approach" on how to deal with the investigation into Facebook. The terms only allow Facebook to remove content if the company believes "that it violates this Statement or our policies" or for infringing copyright.

The social media giant said the steps are created to deter the kind of election meddling and online information warfare that USA authorities have accused Russian Federation of pursuing, the company's chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said.

"By increasing transparency around ads and Pages on Facebook, we can increase accountability for advertisers - improving our service for everyone".

Indonesia says Facebook is being investigated over the privacy breach of its Indonesian users.

- INDIA: India's government has sent a notice to Facebook asking whether the personal data of Indian users has been compromised.

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