Facebook political ad tools are ripe for trolling

A little form field is giving Facebook a lot of trouble.

We’ve talked in recent weeks about the new “dark money” on Facebook. Earlier this year, the company began to require advertisers to verify their identities, a task they accomplish by typing in a code that they receive via a mailed postcard.

The trouble is that when advertisers post their ads, Facebook does not require them to post their verified identity. Instead, they can type whatever they want into a free-form field. And when people can lie on Facebook, they do.

Journalists have unearthed several instances of misrepresentation to date. There was the liberal group sneakily targeting conservatives with messages about universal health care. There was the anonymous person smearing a…

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