10.25.17

Twitter forced to release Russian ad info after threats of more regulations

Due to the series of revelations involving the 2016 election tampering by Russia through Twitter and other social network sites, U.S. lawmakers are now considering increased regulations on tech firms. In order to head off this tightening grip on their operations, the microblogging platform is now releasing more details about its ads that include labels on political ads and who sponsored them.

The move by Twitter to start being more transparent comes amid investigations by the U.S. Senate into the Russian tampering during the last election, The Washington Post reports. During this time, groups voicing dissatisfaction in the results of the industry’s self-regulatory activities are growing in number. Now, legislators are considering implementing more regulations on the tech industry.

Some lawmakers are taking the news of Twitter’s efforts positively, including Democratic Representative Derek Kilmer, Washington. Kilmer introduced a bill last week that would place more stringent regulations on social media sites with regards to political ads.

“I’m glad Twitter is taking steps to cast light on how exactly advertisers are trying to use their platform to influence elections,” Rep. Kilmer said. “This proves that increased transparency on online platforms is possible. We need clear rules of the road for all online advertisements which is why I’ll keep pushing to enact our bipartisan bill and protect our democracy.”

On the other hand, some lawmakers are still not satisfied with simply letting tech companies decide which information should be made public, Reuters reports. U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar is one of those figures who believe that there should still be a law to force tech firms to release relevant information to the public. According to her, what Twitter has just announced is “no substitute for updating our laws.”

What’s more, some legislators argue that transparency is not enough to combat the threat of political ad campaigns funded by foreign elements. Bots spreading fake news are particularly immune to such half-baked measures.


Source: EconoTimes