(Reuters) — Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg on Friday endorsed U.S. legislation to regulate political ads across the internet, a concession to lawmakers days before he is scheduled to testify in two U.S. congressional hearings.
Zuckerberg also said Facebook would begin requiring people who want to run ads on the social network addressing political issues to verify their identity and location. That expands an earlier plan to require such verification for ads directly about elections.
“Election interference is a problem that’s bigger than any one platform, and that’s why we support the Honest Ads Act,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post on Friday.
That legislation was introduced last October to counter concerns about foreign nationals using social media to influence American politics, an issue being looked at as part of an investigation into possible Russian meddling during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.
Facebook disclosed in September that Russians under fake names had used the social network to try to influence U.S. voters in the months before and after the 2016 election, writing about inflammatory subjects, setting up events and buying ads.
In February, U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged 13 Russians and three Russian companies with interfering in the election by sowing discord on social media.
The legislation would expand existing election law covering television and radio outlets to apply to paid internet and digital advertisements on platforms like Facebook, Twitter Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google.
Facebook had previously stopped short of backing the…