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Social Cause Ads Policy Changes on Facebook -and what they mean for the advertisers

How to run Facebook ads for social causes in India?

Meta, more popularly known as Facebook, has rolled out a new set of rules for running ads on social issues in India in December 2021. This requires the authorization of the person or organization who wants to run an advertisement on social issues before they can move forward with the ad campaign. After authorization, people will be able to see a disclaimer with the name of the people or organization running the advertisement.

The new set of rules will be applied to advertisements around nine different categories of social issues. These include crime, health, economy, environmental politics, political values and governance, immigration, education, civil and social rights and security, and foreign policy. The company in its statement said that ads on these topics can be sensitive, highly debated, and provoking and can lead to polarization.

In a statement, Meta claimed that these rules are enforced since speeches affecting public views and polls in some of the other manner have been noticed in the past few years and these also included social advertisements. Also, it was added that the rules are set to promote healthier debates with additional transparency.

One of the policies launched by Facebook in 2019 already requires authorization of the political ads in the country and also includes a “Paid for by” disclaimer. This policy was launched just before the General Elections of India in 2019.

While we talk about the authorization for running advertisements, means that the identity and location of the person or organization are to be verified and provide more details to the platform before the ad goes live. Also, these advertisements are added to the ad library of Facebook for the next seven years. This library also includes the ads that failed to complete authorization and were removed from the platform.

The significant change in the Facebook policies will affect a wide number of advertisements on the platform. A watch should be kept on how these rules are enforced by Meta. The platform has also given examples of advertisements that will require authorization.

As per the definition of crime in India, Facebook gave the example that, “India is the only country that still validates marital rapes and the exception to these are enshrined in our laws.” Another example supported the victims of cybercrime by signing the petition. In the economy category, ads saying “Government policies have been a failure in past years” or “Help old aged people by supporting old age homes” will require authorization, meaning that the category not only includes economic and monetary policies, growth, tax reforms, etc but also other issues.

Similarly in the foreign policy and security category, authorization will be required for ads that include discussions or debates around topics like foreign policies, international relations, trade policies, disputed territories, etc. As an example, the speech of the Prime Minister of India to the country is highly anticipated since it may provide the vision of the government of the country or relations with the other countries of the world.

After the rolling out of these rules, it will be interesting to see how the platform improves for its users and becomes safer.

Originally published in Social Media Marketing Newsletter by is a leading digital marketing agency specialising in Google Ads and FB Ads and policy.

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