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Facebook updates its rules on political advertising ahead of 2020; Boris Johnson moves to suspend the UK Parliament before the Brexit deadline.

Facebook tightens its regulations on false advertising

A Facebook thumbs-up billboard at One Hacker Way. Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
  • Facebook updated its political advertising rules in the US on Wednesday in an effort to reduce online election disinformation before the 2020 campaigns ramp up. [NYT / Davey Alba]
  • The company said it’s strengthening the ways it verifies the legitimacy of groups and agents posting political ads on the platform, introducing a “confirmed organization” official label for advertisers that show government-issued credentials. Furthermore, all ads must be accompanied by the groups’ contact information, regardless of the label they seek. [Reuters / Elizabeth Culliford]
  • To satisfy the conditions, businesses must submit information including tax identification numbers, or registration data from the Federal Election Commission. [Washington Post / Tony Romm]
  • According to Reuters, advertisers have until mid-October to comply with the new set of rules or risk having their ads booted from the platform for good. These rules will also apply to the Facebook-owned Instagram. [Reuters / Elizabeth Culliford]
  • This isn’t the first time Facebook has attempted to respond to criticism about its policies on political ads. Last year, the company began asking advertisers to release the names of the organizations funding or running ads on Facebook and to verify their identities, a move meant to prevent foreign interference in elections. [NYT / Jack Nicas]
  • The tech giant’s moves toward transparency come as election problems begin to pop up elsewhere in the US. In the GOP governor primary runoff in Mississippi on Tuesday, voting machines in at least two counties were confirmed to have changed voters’ selections when they cast their ballots. [Clarion Ledger / Sarah Fowler]
  • The machines in Mississippi did not generate a verified paper backup, making them more prone to hacking. The issue surrounding paperless ballots and other technical election errors received increased attention during special counsel Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony in July. “They’re doing it while we sit here,” Mueller said of Russian interference, “and they expect to do it in the next campaign.” [Washington Post / Tim Elfrink]

The queen says yes

  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson sent the UK into a frenzy Wednesday after he asked Queen Elizabeth II to order a five-week suspension of Parliament just in time for October 31, the deadline for lawmakers to stop a no-deal Brexit from occurring. [Vox / Jen Kirby​]
  • The queen, who approved the suspension later Wednesday, said it may start no earlier than September 9 and end no later than October 14, according to a statement from the Privy Council. [CNN / Ivana Kottasová]
  • Before today, members of Parliament — who return to work on September 3 — had less than two months to pass a law that demanded the government extend the Brexit deadline and hold a second referendum. Now they have even less time to halt Johnson’s plans. [CNN / Ivana Kottasová]
  • Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has reportedly already written to the queen calling for a meeting over the suspension. Previously, he issued a statement saying he is “appalled at the recklessness of Johnson’s government,” and that Britain should hold a general election or public vote before any Brexit deals are finalized. Parliament will most likely move forward with a confidence vote, though. [Telegraph / Danielle Sheridan and Tony Diver]
  • A no-deal Brexit would have major repercussions on trade, citizenship rights, and the Northern Ireland border, among other issues. Without a deal with the EU, the UK will become subject to World Trade Organization rules and its exports will face the same tariffs as non-EU nations, while EU nationals who moved to the UK after March 29, the original Brexit deadline, may face employment and housing hurdles due to their citizenship status. [The Week]
  • Already, the British pound has taken a hit after Johnson’s announcement, falling by more than a cent against the US dollar and by almost as much against the euro. Market analysts suspect once the Parliament suspension begins, it will lead to a much steeper depreciation. [Guardian / Richard Partington]


  • After five seasons as one of the standout acts in sketch comedy, Leslie Jones is departing Saturday Night Live ahead of the show’s 45th season, which is set to air next month, according to reports. [Washington Post / Sonia Rao]
  • Through waves and hurricanes, 50-year-old Spaniard Antonio de la Rosa spent his summer paddleboarding from California across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii, a journey that took him 76 nonstop days to complete. [AP / Jennifer Sinco Kelleher]
  • A new study shows that some 3,500 donated kidneys go unused and get discarded every year in the US, despite around 93,000 Americans seeking transplants. [New York Post / Hannah Sparks]
  • Google Maps is trying to make your commute more seamless by incorporating a new feature that pairs transit directions with biking and ride-hailing options. The feature will include information on the cost of your ride, waiting time, train or bus timetables, and bike lanes. [The Verge / Andrew J. Hawkins]


“The lesson here is that words matter … We have to understand the stereotypes and each other’s backgrounds and the words that hurt, the words that cut deep. And we have to find a way to replace those words with love and words of affirmation as well.” [A TV anchor in Oklahoma City accepts his co-host’s apology after the latter compared him to a gorilla in a previous segment / Huffington Post]

Listen to this: Biofuel duel

An EPA decision has left Iowan corn growers feeling betrayed by President Trump. Democrats are watching. [Spotify | Apple Podcasts]

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