Twitter Pledges To Be ‘Dramatically’ More Transparent With Political Advertising

Twitter has announced it will be “dramatically” more transparent about the political adverts you see on your feed, amid fears Russia sought to influence the 2016 election with adverts on social media.

From now on, any advert promoting a specific candidate or party will be clearly labelled as electioneering and state who bought them.

The site will also build a “Transparency Center” that would:

For now adverts that do not name a specific candidate will not be affected but Twitter said it would work on this.

But it warned there was no “clear industry definition” for political adverts that only addressed issues.

“We are committed to stricter policies and transparency around issue-based ads,” Twitter’s Bruce Falck wrote in a blog.

“There is currently no clear industry definition for issue-based ads but we will work with our peer companies, other industry leaders, policymakers, and ad partners to clearly define them quickly and integrate them into the new approach.”

Political ads will also face:

Falck’s blog specifically mentions the Honest Ads Act, which congressional representatives introduced to “help prevent foreign interference in future elections” and that “Russia attempted to influence the 2016 presidential election by buying and placing political ads on platforms such as Facebook”.

Senator John McCain said: “In the wake of Russia’s attack on the 2016 election, it is more important than ever to strengthen our defenses against foreign interference in our elections.

“Unfortunately, US laws requiring transparency in political campaigns have not kept pace with rapid advances in technology, allowing our adversaries to take advantage of these loopholes to deceive millions of American voters with impunity.”