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European parties can advertise outside national borders on Facebook

In the run-up to the European Parliament elections, Facebook makes an exception in its policy that political advertisers are not allowed to advertise outside their national borders. That’s what the company says to Politico.

The European Union (EU) asked Facebook in April to adjust the rules regarding political advertisements, because the policy does not allow European institutions and parties to advertise outside of Belgium.

The most important Facebook pages of European institutions and European political parties now get permission from Facebook to advertise throughout the EU. This position is valid until 26 May, the last day of the European Parliament elections. In total, the exception policy applies to around forty pages, says Politico.

In the Netherlands, people can go to the polling station for the European elections on 23 May. In 21 Member States, residents can only vote three days later. The result will be announced on 26 May, after all ballot boxes have been closed.

A Facebook spokesperson calls monitoring the integrity of European elections a “top priority” for the company.

“We have been in a constant dialogue with European institutions since the beginning of February. We have established new rules that require people to be authorized in the country in which they want to place political ads.”

“Following a request from the European Parliament, we agreed to exempt a number of pages of official EU bodies from these rules until the end of the month elections.”

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