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Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios

Vice News got Facebook to approve its purchases of ads under the names of all 100 U.S. senators, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), per a new report.

Why it matters: Facebook's efforts at transparency in political advertising won't be effective if the platform does not verify the information users provide.

Flashback: Vice also performed a similar test earlier this month, that saw ads approved in the names of Vice President Mike Pence, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez, and the Islamic State. Facebook said it shouldn't have approved them. An attempt to place an ad posing as Hillary Clinton was denied.

The details: Facebook now requires users to disclose who is paying for political ads, and posts the information at the top of the ad for users to see. Vice News did not actually buy Facebook ads as part of the test.

  • Currently, Facebook users can flag suspicious ads, articles or Facebook pages.
  • Federal elections authorities are in contact with Facebook so ads or disclaimers that violate election law can be flagged.
"We know we can’t do this alone and by housing these ads for up to seven years, people, regulators, third-parties and watchdog groups can hold these groups more accountable. This is also one piece of our broader efforts to bring greater transparency to ads related to politics on Facebook. An advertiser must also confirm his or her identity and location in the US before placing these ads.”
Facebook spokesperson

Go deeper

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Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: The good and bad news about antibody therapies — Fauci: Hotspots have materialized across "the entire country."
  2. World: Belgium imposes lockdown, citing "health emergency" due to influx of cases.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Education: Surge threatens to shut classrooms down again.
  5. Technology: The pandemic isn't slowing tech.
  6. Travel: CDC replaces COVID-19 cruise ban with less restrictive "conditional sailing order."
  7. Sports: High school football's pandemic struggles.
  8. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.
Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Updated 8 hours ago - Economy & Business

Dunkin' Brands agrees to $11B Inspire Brands sale

Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Dunkin' Brands, operator of both Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, agreed on Friday to be taken private for nearly $11.3 billion, including debt, by Inspire Brands, a restaurant platform sponsored by private equity firm Roark Capital.

Why it matters: Buying Dunkin’ will more than double Inspire’s footprint, making it one of the biggest restaurant deals in the past 10 years. This could ultimately set up an IPO for Inspire, which already owns Arby's, Jimmy John's and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Ina Fried, author of Login
10 hours ago - Technology

Federal judge halts Trump administration limit on TikTok

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A federal judge on Friday issued an injunction preventing the Trump administration from imposing limits on the distribution of TikTok, Bloomberg reports. The injunction request came as part of a suit brought by creators who make a living on the video service.

Why it matters: The administration has been seeking to force a sale of, or block, the Chinese-owned service. It also moved to ban the service from operating in the U.S. as of Nov. 12, a move which was put on hold by Friday's injunction.