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Twitter is expanding the political campaigning policy and Ads Transparency Center it unveiled in the U.S. last August and last June, respectively, to European Union member states, India and Australia, mindful of key elections that are set for later this year.
Fellow social network Facebook has taken similar steps, revealing last month that the political advertising rules and tools it introduced in the U.S. last May and in the U.K. last November were being extended to the EU, India, Nigeria and Ukraine.
Enforcement of Twitter’s new policies in the EU, India and Australia will begin March 11, after which only certified advertisers can run political campaign ads on its network. Twitter said in a blog post that political advertisers in those nations should begin the application process for certification as soon as possible.
In a separate blog post, Twitter director of public policy for Europe Karen White explained that ads endorsing parties or candidates will be viewable in Twitter’s Ads Transparency Center, which will provide information including billing information, ad spend, impressions data per tweet and demographic targeting data for the ads being served.
Ads will remain in the Ads Transparency Center indefinitely, and they can be viewed by anyone, whether or not they have a Twitter account.
Twitter is also adding visual labels and disclaimer information to promoted content from certified accounts, making it easier for users to spot political ads and learn who paid for them.
Candidates, organizations and individuals seeking certification must establish proof of identity and meet Twitter’s eligibility requirements, after which they will receive a letter with their access code, enabling the social network to confirm that they are located within the country holding the election.
White added that Twitter “formed a high-level internal elections group” to maintain electoral integrity in the EU, using the social network’s internal tools to protect the integrity of regional trends, support partner escalations and identify potential threats from malicious actors.
The group is made up of trust and safety experts, as well as members of Twitter’s site integrity, legal, engineering, data science investigations and public policy teams, and White wrote, “It also mirrors the model we put in place for the internal teams who directed our proactive efforts during recent elections in Germany, Sweden, Mexico, the U.S. and Brazil. As we move forward, we will continue with this model of bringing in additional expertise and personnel who can augment our approach, growing the experience level from one critical election to the next.”
Twitter’s public policy team in Europe will work with political parties and local member state offices in the EU to arrange training on the social network, distribute media literacy resources and “promote healthy, constructive participation in the democratic process,” White said, adding that Twitter will also continue identifying candidates for verification and amplifying voter participation campaigns, and a hashtag-triggered emoji will be introduced to encourage engagement and conversation.
White wrote, “As the world’s window into the public conversation around #EUElections2019, Twitter is prepared to play its part in enhancing access to healthy democratic discourse.”