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Twitter To Clearly Label Political Adverts

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Heightened sensitivity about political interference on social media results in new rules from Twitter

Micro blogging website Twitter has announced a new transparency centre that will clearly label “political adverts” going forward.

Twitters says the new rules are part of its efforts to “increase transparency for all ads on Twitter, including political ads and issue-based ads.”

The firm also said it would also improve controls for its customers and is adopting stricter advertising policies.

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New Rules

Twitter made the announcement in a blog posting, in which it revealed that within a couple of weeks it would launch an “industry-leading transparency centre that will offer everyone visibility into who is advertising on Twitter, details behind those ads, and tools to share your feedback with us.”

The idea is that this ‘Transparency Centre’ will show data on all the adverts currently running on Twitter, including Promoted-Only ads.

This data will include information about how long the ad has been running, the creative organisations associated with those campaigns; and ads that are targeted to individual users, as well as personalised information on which ads the user is eligible to receive based on targeting.

The Transparency Centre will also allow people to report inappropriate ads or give negative feedback, whether the ad targets a person or not.

“This feedback will help us more quickly remove inappropriate ads from Twitter, and show you more relevant ads in your timeline,” said Twitter.

But it is the new rules concerns political ads that is gaining the most attention.

Electioneering advertisers will have to clearly identify their campaigns, and Twitter said it would “change the look and feel of those ads and include a visual political ad indicator.

Another change is that Twitter is imposing stricter requirements on who can serve political ads and will limit their targeting options. It will also introduce stronger penalties for advertisers who violate its policies.

“We will make these updates first in the US, and then roll them out globally,” said Twitter. It said that it “look forward” to engaging with members of the US Congress about these issues.

Political Inteference

Of course Twitter is making these changes after various US senators recently introduced the Honest Ads Act legislation over the growing amount of fake news and alleged Russian involvement in the 2016 Presidential election via online political adverts.

Google has recently admitted that Russian operatives and affiliates bought ads and used fake names on its online platforms to spread divisive messages in the run-up to the presidential election.

Zuckerberg has also promised that Facebook will develop new methods of spotting political advertising and hire 250 employees to manage the process.

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