Twitter will publicly share identity of political ad buyers

As CNBC reported, the ads will have some sort of visual marker, likely a purple dot next to the user handle, and a purple box with the text "Promoted by" and the name of the sponsor.

Twitter's move to suddenly disclose all of its ads comes after it recently handed over to USA investigators almost 2,000 sponsored tweets from the Russian state-backed news network Russia Today, which U.S. government intelligence officials have identified as "the Kremlin's principal worldwide propaganda outlet".

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.

The change comes amid increasing pressure from lawmakers after evidence came out that groups associated with the Russian government used Twitter, Facebook, Google, and other platforms to spread divisive messages before and after the 2016 election.

Twitter announced Tuesday plans to publicly disclose all ads on its platform and the identity of who purchased them, a move aimed at curtailing proposed legislation in the United States that would force the disclosure of political ads on social networks.

There will also be a special section in the transparency center focused on electioneering, where you can find out additional information like who's being targeted by an ad, more information about the organization buying it and how much they've spent on advertising. Trump's digital campaign director Brad Parscale repeatedly lauded Twitter and Facebook as key reasons for their victory. The company released a lengthy blog post outlining its work to identify these accounts and deal with the presence of misinformation and "malicious bots" going forward.

"Today, we're announcing steps to dramatically increase transparency for all ads on Twitter, including political ads and issue-based ads", wrote Twitter exec Bruce Falck on the company blog. 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". The company cited that there is "currently no clear industry definition for issue-based ads". 

By:  Violet Tucker
Source: Bills Insider