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This photograph taken on May 16, 2018, shows a figurine standing in front of the logo of social network Facebook on a cracked screen of a smartphone in Paris. VOA

At a time when over a third of the world’s population is set to vote in coming months including in India, Facebook has restricted external transparency campaigners from accessing and scrutinising political ads on its platform.

According to a Guardian report late Sunday, the social media giant has changed its codes that restrict external groups’ ability to collect data on why users are being targeted by political campaigners.


The third-party monitoring tools have helped expose several advertising tactics used by politicians in the past, the report added.

Two such external agencies are the British group WhoTargetsMe and the US investigative journalism website ProPublica.


Zuckerberg gears up for debates on public forums. VOA

“Ten days ago, our software stopped working, and efforts to fix it have proved much harder than before,” WhoTargetsMe Co-founder Sam Jeffers was quoted as saying.

According to Facebook, the changes were part of a crackdown on third party plug-ins.

“We regularly improve the ways we prevent unauthorised access by third parties like web browser plug-ins to keep people’s information safe,” a Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying.

Data collected by WhoTargetsMe has helped show how the Conservatives were focusing on personal criticism of shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott during the end of the 2017 campaign.


This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

Facebook’s move comes in a year “when over a third of the world’s population has the opportunity to vote, with elections across the EU, India, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Israel and Ukraine to name a few,” said Jeffers.

A similar ad monitoring tool by ProPublica in the past highlighted “negative stories for the social network such as exposing how oil companies are sidestepping Facebook’s new ad transparency tools among other issues”.

Also Read- Here’s How You Can Give Your Airport Look a Fashionable Twist

Facing intense scrutiny over the misuse of its platform globally during elections, Facebook in December announced fresh steps to increase ad transparency and defend against foreign interference ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in India.

“Anyone who wants to run an ad in India related to politics will need to first confirm their identity and location, and give more details about who placed the ad,” said the social networking giant. (IANS)


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Beauty icons Kriti Sanon and Shanaya Kapoor believe in natural and clean beauty products.

Clean beauty products are making inroads and have gained a significant share of the beauty market, with more more people becoming aware of the their benefits. With each passing year thanks to technology, research and development natural ingredients have finally regained their place in the spotlight. Don't take our word for it, beauty icons Kriti Sanon and Shanaya Kapoor also believe in natural and clean beauty products, and associate with the 'Naturali' range launched by RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group. The new age nature-inspired personal care brand aims to provide a one-of-a kind experience to their customer infused with trendy natural ingredients delivering quick visible results.

Hair care ambassador Kriti Sanon said, 'I am extremely thrilled to be associating with Naturali haircare range that is infused with modern, trendy natural ingredients which are free from harmful chemicals. I have always been an ardent supporter of the 'no nasties' proposition when it comes to my hair care needs, hence this association came very naturally to me. Everyone knows that natural products are supposed to be good for you, but they are often believed to be slow in giving results. Naturali changes this, as the range has a unique SuperBlend of complementary natural ingredients, that are optimized to give you quick visible results. As a woman myself, I strongly believe that no woman should ever have to compromise especially with respect to her beauty choices. So, it is extremely fulfilling to see a brand that is not only good for you being free from harmful chemicals but also makes you look good.'

sliced fruit on white surface Clean beauty products are making inroads and have gained a significant share of the beauty market, with more more people becoming aware of the their benefits. | Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

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