Facebook bans foreign political ads ahead of Indonesia elections

As scrutiny grows, the social media giant says its move is aimed at safeguarding 'election integrity' on its platform.

itoday - To allay concerns that its platform is being used to manipulate voting behaviour, Facebook has banned political advertisements from outside Indonesia as the world's third-largest democracy heads to its presidential and legislative elections.

The announcement is a part of the social media giant's efforts to safeguard "election integrity on our platform" and will be effective from Tuesday.

"We want to make it harder to interfere with elections on the platform, and easier for people to make their voices legitimately heard in the political process," Facebook said in its statement.

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Indonesians will vote in presidential and legislative polls on April 17. The presidential campaign has pitted incumbent Joko Widodo against ultranationalist former General Prabowo Subianto, who was narrowly defeated by Widodo in 2014.

Indonesia is battling its own wave of online hate speech, as conservative groups exploit social media to spread lies and target minorities.

Authorities are worried inflammatory material posted online could crack open social and religious fault lines in the world's largest Muslim-majority country ahead of the polls.

Facebook said in February it removed hundreds of accounts and pages linked to the Indonesian cyber group Saracen that was accused of spreading hate speech and fake news.

source articel and image: aljazeera.com

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