Twitter to require disclosures for political ads

Additionally, at its "Transparency Center" page, Twitter will report detailed information about all political ads on the platforms. Congress is also holding a hearing on November 1 to speak with employees of Twitter, Google, and Facebook about Russian ads during the 2016 election.

The company will also create a new "transparency center" where users can see allad campaigns now being run on Twitter, political or not.

Enlarge / Twitter used this sample ad design to show how political ads would look different from others. Users will also be able to see who paid for the ad, how much was spent, and who it was targeted to.

But there were no new guidelines for so-called "issue ads", a term that covers the majority of the propaganda Russian government operatives deployed on Twitter to influence the 2016 election. This site also will include political ads.

All of these moves have been made after a slow awakening by the general public and the US government as to the power of and lack of regulation around digital ads following the 2016 election.

Last week, Senators Mark Warner (D-VA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John McCain (R-AZ) and Representatives Derek Kilmer (D-WA), and Mike Coffman (R-CO) introduced the Honest Ads Act legislation. Trump's digital campaign director Brad Parscale repeatedly lauded Twitter and Facebook as key reasons for their victory. There's also the matter of the announcement admitting that its policies could be violated by default, with promises of "stronger penalties for advertisers who violate policies".

After Facebook disclosed it uncovered 3,000 Russian-linked ads, Twitter reported it had discovered about 200 accounts linked to Russia. However, Twitter then backed down.

Twitter identified another murky, less-defined category of advertising - issue ads - as a type to receive the same scrutiny in the Transparency Center at some point, although the company will brainstorm with others in the social network sphere beforehand.

"We are committed to stricter policies and transparency around issue-based ads", Falck writes.

In light of recent Russia-related disclosures, American politicians have begun weighing in on the lack of transparency in the world of politically motivated online ads.

By:  Nicole Thomas
Source: The Coven