Ahead of the 2019 general elections in Nigeria and other countries across the world, social media giant, Facebook has announced an extension of some of its political advertising rules and tools to curb the spread of fake news and foreign interference.

Facebook has, in recent times, been criticised for being pivotal to the spread of fake news and foreign interference with its lax policies that allows politicians buy ads that can widen the audience for them to push their, sometimes, sinister agendas.

The spread of fake news and foreign interference in elections caused a global outrage especially with the electoral triumph of Donald Trump as United States president in 2016.

With elections set to commence in Nigeria, India, Ukraine and the European Union, the media company is implementing several initiatives to increase oversight of political ads.

Nigerians are set to elect new leaders next month

According to a report by Reuters, the company will kick-start a new initiative in Nigeria on Wednesday, January 16, 2019.

Facebook’s director of global politics and outreach, Katie Harbath, told Reuters that only advertisers located in the country will be able to run electoral ads.

The same policy will be employed in Ukraine, India and the EU with varying policies also reflecting local laws.

“We’re learning from every country. We know we’re not going to be perfect, but our goal is continuing, ongoing improvement,” she said.

Other Facebook teams are also reported to be focused on identifying problematic political behavior unrelated to ads to curb a global problem.

2019 general elections

The 2019 general elections will kick off with the Presidential and National Assembly elections on February 16 while Governorship and State Assembly elections will take place on March 2.

A total of 84,004,084 are registered to vote in the elections.