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Facebook is hiring another 1,000 people to review and remove ads

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Facebook is making changes to its advertising policies in the wake of an investigation that confirmed the company unknowingly sold ads to Kremlin-backed sources trying to sway the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Facebook will hire 1,000 additional people to the internal team that reviews and removes Facebook ads, according to details shared via email with Recode by a Facebook spokesperson.

The company also said it will invest more in machine learning to “better understand when to flag and take down ads,” and expand its advertising content policies to stop ads that use even “subtle expressions of violence.” (It already bans ads that promote violence or include “shocking content.”)

The company will also start to “require more thorough documentation” from advertisers who want to buy political ads on Facebook.

It’s unknown exactly how much Facebook will invest in machine learning, or how it plans to identify ads with “subtle expressions of violence.” It’s also unclear what kind of documentation Facebook will require of political advertisers.

We’ve asked for clarifications and will update if we get them.

All of these changes appear to be related to a promise CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a few weeks ago to overhaul Facebook’s ad policies, but again, we’re not positive and have asked for clarification.

On the product side, the social network will now let users see a list of all the ads that a Facebook Page is running on the site, even if those ads aren’t targeting you. It’s unknown when this feature will be available.

Facebook is in the midst of an advertising crisis. First, the company confirmed that it sold more than $100,000 worth of political ads to Russian sources trying to sway last fall’s U.S. presidential election. A week later, reports surfaced that Facebook was giving advertisers the option to target users using keywords like “Jew hater.”

The company has been scrambling ever since, which seems clear by the fact that most of Monday’s updates lack significant details. Still, Facebook is eager to do something, and quickly. It already changed its troublesome ad targeting feature to incorporate more human oversight.

As the company works to fix its ad business, it’s also dealing with numerous congressional investigations. Facebook confirmed late Sunday that it would share approximately 3,000 Kremlin-linked political ads with congress as part of an ongoing investigation.


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