Twitter today pledged to endorse a Senate bill that would require technology platforms that sell advertising space to reveal the source and amount of money paid for political ads. Called the Honest Ads Act, the bipartisan law was first introduced in October by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) and Senator John McCain (R-AZ). The regulation of online political announcements is one of the lasting and material effects of Russian interference in the 2016 US elections, in which thousands of false accounts linked to the Kremlin were used to propagate propaganda, sow distrust and provoke heated debates about divisive political issues. among the American population mainly through social networks.
Twitter is following in the footsteps of Facebook, which said last week it would make critical changes in its political advertising policies amid the current Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal to reduce misinformation and prevent bad actors from co-opting its platform. Those changes, in accordance with the Fair Ads Act, include requiring advertisers to target Facebook users about burning political issues, such as gun control, to verify their identity and location. The ads will also be subject to a "political announcement" tag. A combination of human moderators and artificial intelligence algorithms will scan the site to mark ads that require the label. Sens. Klobuchar and Warner asked Google and Twitter to commit to the Honest Ads Act yesterday after Facebook's announcement.
Twitter is pleased to support the Honest Ads Act. Already in the fall we indicated that we support the proposals to increase transparency in political announcements. Public policy of Twitter (@Policy) April 10, 2018
As part of its transparency efforts, Twitter says it has launched a new platform called Ads Transparency Center, or ATC, that "will go beyond the requirements of the Honest Ads Act and will ultimately provide greater transparency to all ads in Twitter. " Twitter says that the platform will increase the transparency of political notices and so-called issues, which focus on specific issues, such as immigration and arms control, providing even more information about the origin of an advertisement that is required by the Law of honest ads.
"We have a dedicated team that has all the resources to implement ATC and we are committed to its launch this summer," says the company. "Twitter is moving forward in our commitment to provide transparency for online ads. We believe that the Fair Ads Act provides an appropriate framework for such ads and we look forward to working with the bill sponsors and others to continue to refine and promote this important proposal." .