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Twitter to label political ads and create "transparency center"

Political ads on social sites
Could disclosing ad buyers prevent political influence operations on social media? 02:37

NEW YORK — Twitter (TWTR) says it will provide more information about political ads that run on the blogging platform, including who is funding them and whom they are aimed at.

The company plans to launch a so-called transparency center, which will include details on ads, it said in a blog post Tuesday. The service will require ads that refer to a candidate or party to be clearly identified as election ads, it said. 

"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," the company said.

Election ads will have a uniform look, and Twitter will provide information on the advertiser, including the audience they are targeting and the total money they spent on the media platform. 

Twitter provided a mockup of what such an ad might look like.

Mockup of a labeled political ad on Twitter Twitter

"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 the blog post.

Facebook promises greater cooperation in Russia investigation 02:21

The move follows similar steps by Facebook (FB) and the introduction of a bill in Congress that seeks to bring more transparency to online political ads in an attempt to lessen the influence of Russia and other foreign entities on U.S. elections. The bipartisan bill, called the "Honest Advertising Act," would require social media companies like Facebook and Twitter to keep public records on election ads and to meet the same disclaimer requirements as political broadcast and print advertising.

For non-political ads, Twitter will provide limited information, such as how long they've been running.

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