Facebook and Instagram illegally allowed ads around elections

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Meta-brands Facebook and Instagram illegally allowed ads from politicians in the days leading up to Kenya’s presidential election. That is against the law in that country and also against Meta’s own rules regarding political advertisements.

A total of 52 advertisements appeared, reports Rest of World following a Mozilla Foundation report on the subject. Of those ads, Meta showed 45 in the two days before the August 9 presidential election. Candidates in the country have been banned from campaigning for the past two days. There were also 7 advertisements that prematurely declared a winner, which is also not allowed.

In addition, the moderation surrounding the elections did not work as promised, Mozilla notes. For example, a live stream in which a politician announced a winner early reached 370,000 viewers, while the platform did not intervene. According to Meta’s rules, that should have happened.

The ads around elections are in the spotlight at Meta, because the company is the only company that accepts political ads. Twitter and TikTok haven’t done that for several years now. Moreover, in Meta’s home country the United States, elections will also take place next week.

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