Twitter gears up for digital transparency, to disclose political ad info

Facebook, Google and Twitter have all joined hands to disclose all political ads at the same time revealing whoever purchased them on their platform.

Twitter relaxes 140-character limit giving more room to tweet
A man reads tweets on his phone in front of a displayed Twitter logo in Bordeaux, southwestern France Reuters

Russia's usage of social media platform as a major tool to allegedly interfere with the 2016 US Presidential election has raised enough concern that the social media giants are now coming forward to tackle all unethical acts that in some way use the virtual world to disrupt the real world.

Facebook, Google and Twitter have all joined hands to disclose all political ads and at the same time revealing who'd purchased them on their platform. "Honest Ads Act" was released by two Democratic leaders last week, on October 19, that requires the virtual media to reveal those who are purchasing the political ads. Twitter has also revealed 201 names to the US Senate who they believe to have meddled with during the 2016 presidential election.

Based on the same, Twitter is now all geared up to publicly disclose all advertisements particularly the political ads along with those who purchased them. Authorities came up with the decision to increase transparency on their platform.

This new venture is said to reveal all the ads that are currently running on Twitter. The list also includes "Promoted Only" ads clearly mentioning the time span of the ads. Advertisements targeted to a particular audience or containing personalised information will also not be spared.

Often Twitter users have complained about inappropriate ads popping up on their screens, against which they fail to take necessary actions. This transparency centre, however, will allow users to report and give negative feedback to the ads.

"To make it clear when you are seeing or engaging with an electioneering ad, we will now require that electioneering advertisers identify their campaigns as such. We will also change the look and feel of these ads and include a visual political ad indicator," Twitter said in its post.

Allegations against Twitter for not monitoring a probe seriously or for deleting tweets and other important data from the site that might be helpful to reveal details about Moscow's manipulation of the social media service might have forced the tech giant to take this step.

The US Senate has invited Facebook, Google and Twitter for a hearing on November 1.

Twitter further stated that they will make new updates first in the US and then implement it globally. They are keen on engaging Members of the US Congress and other key stakeholders on these issues.