Twitter to label election ads after US regulatory threat

Twitter will add labels to election-related advertisements.
Twitter will add labels to election-related advertisements.PHOTO: AFP

SAN FRANCISCO (REUTERS) - Twitter said on Tuesday (Oct 24) it would add labels to election-related advertisements, following a threat of regulation from the United States over the lack of disclosure for political spending on social media networks.

Twitter said in a blog post that the company would launch a website so that people could see all ads currently running on Twitter and details such as how long those ads have been running and the images associated with the ad campaigns.

Silicon Valley social media firms and the political ads that run on their websites have generally been free of the disclaimers and other regulatory demands that US authorities impose on television, radio and satellite services.

Demands for that to change have grown, however, after Twitter, Facebook and Alphabet's Google said in recent weeks that Russian operatives used fake names on their platforms to spread messages in the run-up to the 2016 US presidential election.

Russia has denied interfering in the election.

Twitter said it would make changes first in the United States and then roll them out globally.

"To make it clear when you are seeing or engaging with an electioneering ad, we will now require that electioneering advertisers identify their campaigns as such," Bruce Falck, Twitter's general manager of revenue product, said in the blog post.