Facebook is implementing new measures to prevent future election meddling efforts by requiring anyone that wants to buy a political ad in the United States to have a Social Security number along with a U.S. passport or valid driver’s license. It’s estimated that this will prevent 11 million undocumented people in the U.S from buying ads on Facebook. These new measures will be rolled out in the next month or two and will likely have a huge affect on local and state elections.
By preventing undocumented people from buying ads millions of people will lose their voice along the way.
In a world where corporations are pouring millions of dollars into political ads, it is unfair to exclude undocumented immigrants from the conversation, especially since today's politics are focused on us and are affecting our lives. #HereToStay https://t.co/NHjLDU3seJ
— United We Dream (@UNITEDWEDREAM) May 16, 2018
These new measures were created to prevent a repeat of what happened during the 2016 U.S election and the issue of Russian meddling. Yet, these new ad procedures will affect many of the undocumented voices in the U.S that are one of the most vocal on social media when it comes to immigrant and social rights.
Facebook specifies in its stance to verify all ads “related to any national legislative issue of public importance in any place where the ad is being run.”
Jess Morales Rocketto, the Chair of We Belong Together, issued a statement on these ad new regulations.
— We Belong Together (@WomenBelong) May 16, 2018
“Undocumented activists have been the engine behind our modern immigrant rights movement, banning their voices is punching a hole in progress,” Morales Rocketto said in a statement on the new ad procedures. “Facebook would do better to shut down republicans voter suppression ads than immigrant youth’s attempts to be recognized in the land they call home.”
Google is also implementing similar ad procedures that will require you to provide proof of U.S. citizenship.
— Dark Money (@DarkMoneyFilm) May 15, 2018
These new rules are very similar to Facebook’s new ad rules which mean if you are paying for an ad you must provide clear disclosure of who is paying as well as proof of a government issued I.D.
While Facebook’s new policies don’t infringe on First Amendment rights since its a private sector, it might do more damage than you think.
— Maya Wiley (@mayawiley) May 16, 2018
Immigration has become a major part of American politics over the last few years. Undocumented immigrants have used their voice to push for a clean Dream Act from Congress through protesting. Social media is an important tool in mobilizing and organizing for political and social changes. The full impact of limiting the number of people buying political ads will not be known for some time.