Twitter on Tuesday announced it was launching a transparency centre for advertising on its platform. The centre will put in place stricter rules and make clear who funds the ads that users see. “In the coming weeks, we will launch an industry-leading transparency centre that will offer everyone visibility into who is advertising,” said Twitter’s General Manager (Revenue Product and Engineering) Bruce Falck.
The move comes weeks after social media sites, including Twitter and Facebook, said these platforms were used to spread Russian propaganda during the 2016 United States presidential election.
In September, Twitter told a United States Senate Committee that a Russian state-funded media organisation placed more than 1,800 advertisements on it in the run-up to the election. An internal review at Facebook found that Russia-based advertisers spent $100,000 on 3,000 ads promoting divisive messages during and after the presidential election campaign.
The transparency centre will allow users to see all ads currently running on Twitter and how long those ads have been running. It will also inform users if an ad was targeted for them, Twitter said. It will also make political ads appear different from others “to make it clear when you are seeing or engaging with an electioneering ad”.
Last week, US senators had backed measures to clamp down on online ads, BBC reported. Five senators across US party lines introduced the Honest Ads Act legislation that would regulate ad sales on social networks, search engines and websites.