Facebook Signals Softer Stance on Ad Rules for EU Elections

Belinda Cao
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Facebook Signals Softer Stance on Ad Rules for EU Elections

(Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc.’s head of global affairs said the social-media company is willing to explore ways to exempt some European parties and EU elections from its rules about online political advertising, the Financial Times reported.

Executive Nick Clegg made the offer in a letter to the president of the European Parliament, the FT reported, citing a document it reviewed. The comments are a response to a backlash created by Facebook’s new transparency rules that would require people or groups posting political ads to register in each EU state where the ads appear, the FT said.

Clegg identified 19 EU institutions that the platform could exempt from the rules for a month leading up to the European elections, which run from May 23-26, according to the letter to Antonio Tajani.

Facebook is “exploring whether we can technically build tools that would allow authorized administrators of the 19 institutional pages we identified to target ads to people right across the EU,” Clegg wrote in the letter, according to the FT. “It will be a challenge to do this in the requested timescale and I will need to confirm whether or not it is possible with you if we agree that this is the right solution.”

A spokesman for the European Parliament told the FT it expected Facebook to grant the temporary exemption, while Facebook declined to comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Belinda Cao in New York at lcao4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Clementine Fletcher at cfletcher5@bloomberg.net, Kevin Miller, James Ludden

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