One of Facebook's major efforts to add transparency to political advertisements is a required "Paid for by" disclosure at the top of each ad supposedly telling users who is paying for political ads that show up in their news feeds. [...]
VICE News applied to buy fake ads on behalf of all 100 sitting U.S. senators, including ads "Paid for by" by Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer. Facebook's approvals were bipartisan: All 100 sailed through the system, indicating that just about anyone can buy an ad identified as "Paid for by" by a major U.S. politician.
What's more, all of these approvals were granted to be shared from pages for fake political groups such as "Cookies for Political Transparency" and "Ninja Turtles PAC." [...]
There was one "Paid for" disclosure that Facebook didn't approve in our latest test. They denied, just a couple minutes after we submitted it: Mark Zuckerberg.
We posed as 100 senators to run ads on Facebook. Facebook approved all of them.