Facebook lets you see all active ads running on Pages

You'll even be able to see ads that aren't specifically targeted to you.

Richard Nieva Former senior reporter
Richard Nieva was a senior reporter for CNET News, focusing on Google and Yahoo. He previously worked for PandoDaily and Fortune Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, on CNNMoney.com and on CJR.org.
Richard Nieva
3 min read
View of Facebook on a smartphone showing a page for Jasper's Market, highlighting "info and ads."

Facebook announced new ad transparency efforts on Thursday.


Facebook is upping its advertising transparency efforts.

The social network said Thursday it will let people see all the active ads a Facebook page is running across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and its partner network. The change lets people see all of a page's ads, even if the ad isn't being specifically targeted at that person. Previously, the feature was being tested in Canada.

Facebook also announced a new section on Pages called "Info and Ads," which shows you the date the Page was created, any name changes to the Page, and its active ads.

"We believe really deeply in transparency because we believe it leads to changes in behavior," COO Sheryl Sandberg said during a press event at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California. "It will hold us accountable. It will hold advertisers accountable." 

Sandberg said she doesn't think the new policies -- which could increase delays for marketers trying to post ads to Facebook -- would not "meaningfully impact" Facebook's revenue.

Facebook's advertising and data collection policies have been under fire as the company deals with the toughest crises in its 14-year history. The company is still on the hot seat for not doing enough to prevent abuse from Russian trolls who bought ads and posted misinformation and divisive content on the platform in an attempt to meddle in the 2016  election and sow discord among voters.

The advertising business model at Facebook has also been under intense scrutiny following a scandal in March involving Cambridge Analytica. The digital consultancy, which had ties to the Trump presidential campaign, improperly accessed personal information on up to 87 million Facebook users. Facebook primarily collects that data in the first place to help marketers on the social network better target their ads at specific audiences.

In the wake of those scandals, Facebook has vowed to make changes to many of its operations. The company is also ramping up its efforts in the lead-up to the 2018 midterm elections in the United States, as well as other elections around the world.

Facebook has also announced an election ads database, as well as "paid for by" labels to accompany political ads. The social network has also tightened restrictions on who could buy ads, requiring people who want to advertise for political issues -- not just political candidates -- to be verified with things like a mailing address.

On Thursday, Facebook also said it's launching its political ad labeling and archive in Brazil, ahead of October's general election.

In April, right before CEO Mark Zuckerberg headed to Capitol Hill for two congressional hearings over Facebook's recent scandals, Facebook's chief said he supports the Honest Ads Act. The legislation is a bipartisan bill that would impose regulations on online campaign ads.

On Thursday, Sandberg said Facebook also supports the California Data Privacy Protection Act being voted on Thursday, which would allow people to know what information companies collect about them.

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