Twitter pledges full election advertising transparency to counter regulatory threat

Twitter pledges full election advertising transparency to counter regulatory threat

Twitter has pledged to ensure that all election advertising is clearly demarked as such together with naming the organisation behind them as it seeks to head off possible regulatory action by the US government by way of the Honest Ads Act.

As such Twitter will fall into line behind Facebook by introducing disclaimers, informing readers of the identity of buyers behind the ads, the targeting demographics used and the total ad spend for each campaign.

A common sight on traditional outlets such as TV, radio and satellite outlets such disclaimers have never been required before of social media companies but this has all changed in the midst of a bubbling scandal in Washington after it emerged that Russia had been surreptitiously meddling in the 2016 presidential election, by taking out undeclared advertising on Twitter, Facebook and Google.

Twitter is accused of permanently deleting tweets which could have been crucial to that investigation.

Jason Beckerman, CEO and Co-founder of Unified, commented: “This is a great move by Twitter— because they control all of their inventory inside of their audience based platform, they can build unique features that build trust among their community and the world at large. Companies taking steps like this to self-police will create greater trust and limit blow back when situations like the 2016 election issues arise. Brands should be taking a similar approach to controlling their experiences within these social ecosystems.”

Last month Facebook confirmed that it would fully declare all political ads that it ran, irrespective of their target.

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John Glenday

John Glenday is responsible for compiling The Drum's daily morning bulletin and ensuring that overnight breaking news is covered while you're still brushing your teeth. Can also make a mean cup of tea.

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