Twitter aims to make political ads more transparent in light of U.S. Election

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  • As more evidence becomes apparent that Russia used Twitter to influence public opinion around the 2016 U.S. Presidential elections, pressure is being placed heavily on Twitter.

    Ahead of the November 1st Congressional hearing on Russian manipulation, Twitter has now launched new rules for how it shares data on political ads.

    Twitter will identify electioneering ads based on the US Federal Election Commission’s guidelines, which define those ads as any that promote a specific candidate or party within 30 days of a primary election or within 60 days of a general one.

    “In the coming weeks, we will launch an industry-leading transparency center that will offer everyone visibility into who is advertising on Twitter, details behind those ads and tools to share your feedback with us,” said Twitter’s Bruce Falck in a blogpost.

    This ‘Transparency Center’ will list all ads on Twitter, including promoted Tweets that previously only appeared to targeted demographics.

    By doing so, users will be able to see how long ads have been running, what text and images are being used and information on how these ads are being targeted to users.

    “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 mentioned above,” Falck said.

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