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Social media has become an important tool in political campaigns. (Bigstock Photo)

Facebook is introducing stricter rules for advertisers promoting hot-button issues.

Starting today, advertisers who want to buy politically-charged ads will need to be authorized by Facebook. To become authorized, an advertiser must confirm their identity and location to Facebook.

Last fall, Facebook began requiring all advertisers buying ads tied to elections to be authorized. Today’s announcement extends that policy beyond electoral ads to any content promoting controversial issues. The new policies also apply to Instagram, which Facebook owns.

All ads tied to elections or hot-button issues will also be labeled “Political Ad” and include information on the ad buyer on Facebook and Instagram. Those changes will be rolled out later this spring, Facebook says.

The company is working with third parties to create a list of political issues that must be labeled. Facebook will continually update the list over time.

In June, Facebook will roll out a searchable political ad archive, with information on the reach of ads, who purchased them, and how much they spent. The company will also start requiring Pages with big follower bases to be verified.

Earlier this week, Facebook announced a series of changes that restrict how the company shares user data with third-party apps. The updates are Facebook’s answer to public outcry over the role the platform played in Russian election interference and the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which allowed a political consultancy firm to access data from up to 87 million Facebook users.

“We know we were slow to pick-up foreign interference in the 2016 US elections,” Facebook said Friday. “Today’s updates are designed to prevent future abuse in elections.”

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