I shared the piece I wrote for Medium about the need to preserve ephemeral updates by politicians & civil servants on my Page. I decided to experiment with boosting it.
Facebook did not approve the “ad,” classifying it as political.
When I experimented further by seeing what was required of me for “identity confirmation,” it simply…didn’t work for me in the Facebook app. Tap button, nothing happens.
Some irony here: I was at the tip of the spear pushing Facebook to adopt political ad transparency & worked with Congress on a law to mandate it!
And now, as a result of their ham-handed self-regulation, I can’t engage people on Facebook about my piece advocating Facebook creating a public interest file for politicians and civil servants who create ephemeral media (“Stories”) on Instagram and Facebook.
UPDATE: When I shared this on Twitter, Rob Leathern, the director of product at Facebook responsive for ads integrity and transparency, replied to my @mention, stating that “This is not blocked – this is an ad about an issue of national importance and so requires you to go through the authorization process, before it will run.”
This is not blocked – this is an ad about an issue of national importance and so requires you to go through the authorization process, before it will run
— Rob Leathern (@robleathern) December 22, 2018
When I said the feature wasn’t available on mobile, he told me to visit Facebook from a desktop computer to complete the process. When I did so, Facebook prompted me to enter a mailing address and upload images of my passport, driver’s license or state ID.
There’s an interesting wrinkle here, as I noted to Leathern on Twitter: I’ve been “verified” on Facebook for years now, with a big blue checkmark next to my name and a special signifier in comments. What, exactly, does being “Verified” mean if Facebook still needs to identify who I am?