Twitter Announces More Strict Labeling on Political Advertisements

In recent years there has been a growing concern over the legitimacy of political campaigning tactics. One of the many ways political leaders and figureheads reach their expansive audiences is to use advertising services, such as television ads, signs and billboards, or even to air their ads on the internet through video or other various forms of media. These advertisements have been going on for quite some time, but only recently has the use of the internet and popular social media sites been a target for political leaders to try and gain an advantage over their opponents. These types of ads are generally just plopped onto the site like any other advertisement might be, but Twitter has taken a step in the right direction. 

In response to growing concern from United States government regulatory services, Twitter, one of the most popular social media sites in the entire world, has decided to more clearly label political advertisements that appear on their website. Not only will these advertisements be showing who in fact bought the advertisement, but also the targeted demographic and the total amount of money spent on its creation. This regulation comes nearly a month behind the similar overhaul of political advertisements conducted by one of Twitter’s most direct competitors in the social media business, Facebook.


The Twitter logo is seen on a sign at the company’s headquarters in San Francisco, California on November 4, 2016. / AFP / JOSH EDELSON (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images) (Photo Courtesy of Times Magazine)

Previous to this new move for increased political disclosure, most advertising done on social media websites was not required to go under any sort of regulatory checking that would ultimately cause the consumer to be aware of the aforementioned subjects. This would ultimately come crashing down as an issue with Russian affiliates buying advertisements with fake names, and using them to sway political support to different candidates came into light, although when asked Russia has denied any sort of involvement in these allegations.


While for most this would seem like the two previously mentioned companies seem to be taking steps in the right direction, many lawmakers are not quite so satisfied with the way it has been handled. They claim that while this may seem like an alright substitution, nothing can make up for regulatory laws that would force this disclosure to be absolutely necessary on every advertisement. However mixed, the general consensus on this issue was that it needed to be addressed, and these companies did their part well. While not everyone is yet satisfied with this approach, most are certain this a great first step in the path of complete transparency in political campaigning.



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