Shake-up for political adverts run on Twitter

It follows concerns about Russian online activity during the US presidential election

Social networks, Ireland, usage, Facebook, Twitter, online, Ipsos-MRBI, Instagram, Pinterest, Tinder, Snapchat

File photo of the logo of social networking website Twitter displayed on the screen of an iPhone | Image: Dominic Lipinski / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Social media site Twitter has announced changes to the ways adverts are displayed.

The company says the increased transparency will apply to political ads and issue-based ads.

It says it is also improving controls for users and adopting stricter advertising policies.

The site is to launch a Transparency Centre "in the coming weeks" that will offer visibility into who is advertising on Twitter.

This will also include details behind those ads and tools to share feedback.

Specifically, the Transparency Centre will show:

  • All ads that are currently running on Twitter, including Promoted-Only ads
    How long ads have been running
    Ad creative associated with those campaigns
    Ads targeted to users, as well as personalised information on which ads they are eligible to receive based on targeting
    People can also report inappropriate ads or give negative feedback

For any political or electioneering adverts, they will have to make it clear when users are seeing or engaging with such an ad.

Twitter will require advertisers to identify their campaigns as such.

The look of these ads will also change, and include a visual political ad indicator.

Source: Twitter

These updates are first being rolled out in the US, and then globally.

It comes after several US senators and representatives introduced the Honest Ads Act legislation last week.

This followed concerns about Russian online activity during the 2016 presidential election.

The new bill would reportedly require companies to keep copies of political ads and make them publicly available.