A new kind of dark money on Facebook is influencing elections

Just over a year ago, Facebook announced it would create a database of advertising and make it available for the benefit of researchers, journalists, and the public. After a successful test in Canada, Facebook introduced the archive to the United States earlier this year, and plans to introduce a modified version in the United Kingdom shortly.

Of all the steps Facebook has taken in the wake of the 2016 election to improve trust in the platform, the political ads archive has been among the most effective. It allows anyone to see what ads are running, how much money is being spent on them, and who is being targeted by them. It also requires anyone who wants to buy political ads to register with a government ID, using a code mailed to their…

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