Facebook to block foreign ads for Australia election

Facebook will block election advertising from outside Australia ahead of polls next month, in the wake of growing criticism of the social media giant's role in the spread of disinformation.

The restrictions -- already rolled out for polls in other countries such as Thailand and Indonesia -- will come into force when the government announces the election date in the coming days.

"We're temporarily not allowing electoral ads purchased from outside Australia ahead of the election in May," Facebook's Australia and New Zealand policy director Mia Garlick said in a statement.

"The restriction... will apply to ads we determine to be coming from foreign entities that are of an electoral nature, meaning they contain references to politicians, parties or election suppression.

"We also won't allow foreign ads that include political slogans and party logos."

Facebook said it has introduced restrictions on foreign electoral ads in countries including Nigeria, Ukraine, Thailand, Indonesia, and Ireland around its May 2018 referendum on abortion.