Increasing transparency for political campaigning ads on Twitter

By and
Thursday, 24 May 2018

We believe transparency is key for both the people using our service and advertisers to feel confident in our platform. As we stated last year, we are committed to enforcing stricter policies for political advertisers and providing clear, transparent disclosure for all ads on Twitter, with more details for political campaigning ads.

Today, we are launching our Political Campaigning Policy in the United States to provide clear insight into how we define political content and who is advertising political content on Twitter.

What will this policy entail?

As part of this new policy, we will require advertisers who want to run political campaigning ads for Federal elections to self-identify and certify that they are located in the US Candidates and committees will have to provide their FEC ID, and non-FEC registered organizations and individuals will have to submit a notarized form. We will send a letter to the mailing address registered with the FEC, business, or individual to validate the identity and location of all political campaigning advertisers. In addition, we will not allow foreign nationals to target political ads to people who are identified as being  in the US.

Additionally, handles used for political campaigning advertising will have to comply with stricter requirements. The handle’s profile photo, header photo, and website must be consistent with its online presence and the Twitter bio must include a website that provides valid contact information.

We will also be including a visual badge and disclaimer information on promoted content from certified accounts in the near future. This will allow users to easily identify political campaigning ads, know who paid for them, and whether it was authorized by a candidate.

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This complements our recent announcement around US election labels, which will appear on the campaign Twitter accounts of candidates running for state Governor, or for the US Senate or US House of Representatives, during the 2018 US midterm general election. These labels contain relevant information about a political candidate, including the office the candidate is running for, the state the office is located in, district number (when applicable), and will be clearly identifiable with a small icon of a government building.

When will enforcement begin?

Enforcement of this policy will begin later this summer, after which only certified advertisers will be allowed to run political campaigning ads. Political advertisers can apply now for certification.

What’s next?

As stated earlier this year, we will be launching an Ads Transparency Center this summer. The Ads Transparency Center will provide insight into all ads running on Twitter, with even more details on political campaigning ads, including ad spend and targeting demographics.

Issue ads will fall under a separate upcoming policy. This allows us to have a nuanced approach to transparency that is mindful of the inherent difference between political and issue-oriented advertising campaigns. Given the global nature of our company, we are also looking into how these policies can be enforced internationally and will have more to share in the future.

This is just the beginning of our efforts in increased transparency for all advertising on Twitter. We will continue to iterate and improve our efforts in this space and will be providing updates along the way.

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