Facebook users who change their mind and do not want their messages to appear in a recipient's inbox will be able to delete them in future.

The US tech giant has admitted its boss Mark Zuckerberg has been secretly using a tool to delete his messages in other users' inboxes for several years without telling recipients.

Until now, the option has not been available to most users – something which Facebook has apologised for.

The social network admitted it began erasing the messages of Mr Zuckerberg and other top executives in 2014 after hackers got hold of and released emails from Sony Pictures executives.

The Sony messages included critical remarks about movie stars and others in the entertainment industry.

On Friday, Facebook announced it will also require advertisers who want to run "issue ads" – not endorsing particular candidates or parties but discussing political topics – to verify who pays for them and where the advertiser is based.

Image:Facebook has admitted some of Mark Zuckerberg's messages have been erased from recipients' inboxes

:: Almost 3 million EU citizens hit by Facebook data breach

The measure is already in place for political ads, and comes as Facebook tries to clamp down on outside election interference ahead of this year's US mid-terms and upcoming political contests around the world.

Facebook will also require those who look after pages with a "large number" of followers to also be verified, but it has not stated what this number would be.

The company is trying to clamp down on fake pages and accounts used to disrupt the 2016 US presidential election.

Facebook says page administrators and advertisers will be asked to provide a government-issued ID for verification.

More from Facebook

The company is facing a global backlash over the improper sharing of data.

Hearings are planned in the US over the scandal and the EU is considering what actions to take against the company.

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