Facebook may be a technology company, but it’s starting to embrace the importance of humans.
In the wake of a scandal over its influence on the 2016 election, Facebook announced Monday it’s hiring more than 1,000 people to review ads on the social network.
Facebook announced the hiring increase along with new initiatives to improve authenticity and transparency of its advertising, notably with more disclosures on political ads. This move comes the same day as Facebook hands over 3,000 ads linked to Russian accounts that were purchased during the 2016 election to Congress.
Despite outcry to reveal these ads to the public, Facebook did not share plans to do so. However, The New York Times Monday shared some of the topics of the ads, including a meme condoning the “PC term” to say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” The Times also noted the existence of a Facebook Page called “Defend the 2nd” on gun rights and ones called “LGBT United.” Facebook disclosed to Congress that the Kremlin-linked group Internet Research Agency may have purchased ads through these Pages, according to the Times.
“We’re obviously deeply disturbed by this,” Joel Kaplan, Facebook vice president of United States public policy, told the Times.
The 2016 election may be over, and no official laws have caused Facebook to take direct action on its policies. But in the wake of all the public scrutiny, the company is taking action to self-regulate. CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed such plans in a Facebook Live last month.
Facebook is hiring people to monitor ads for their content and for their target audiences. This move wouldn’t be the first time the company hired more people to address problems on the News Feed. Following a shooting broadcast on Facebook Live in May, Zuckerberg said he would hire 3,000 more moderators over the next year to review videos and other reported posts.
The company also is increasing its requirements to place ads on Facebook. All ads a business is currently running will be available for anyone to review via their Page.
Advertisers must say which business or organization they represent if they want to place any political-related ads on the site for any future U.S. federal election, a Facebook spokesperson told Mashable. However, this move will only apply to ads that acknowledge a candidate’s name, according to CNN, which would not have applied to a portion of the Russian-linked ads.
Facebook also has committed itself to more active engagement with affected parties. A Facebook spokesperson said the company will reach out to leaders in the ad industry and governments worldwide to share information on so-called “bad actors.”
Of course, Facebook has never been perfect. Zuckerberg has had to apologize repeatedly for his company’s missteps and for his own mistake of calling Facebook’s influence on the 2016 election a “crazy idea” in the weeks following President Trump’s victory.