Twitter launches political advert transparency tools for European elections

Twitter is to expand its political advertising policy to Europe to coincide with the European elections in May amid fears of election interference attempts using social media.

The social media platform has confirmed that all adverts linked to the elections that endorse a candidate or party will be viewable indefinitely in Twitter’s Ads Transparency Centre – which will show details on who funded the advert.

The tool will show details on how much was spent on the ad and the number of impressions it made per posting.

Facebook launched its own political advert transparency scheme in the UK late last year, which also includes an ad library that details of source of adverts on the platform.

(Twitter)
(Twitter)

Social media platforms have come under fire in the past for failing to deal with misinformation and abusive content on their sites, with Facebook apologising for failing to spot Russian attempts to influence the 2016 US presidential election via the service.

Twitter confirmed it will begin enforcing the policy in Europe on March 11, with “certified advertisers” allowed to run political adverts on the platform from that time.

In order to be certified, applicants have to prove their identity before using an access code posted to a supplied address that confirms they are located within the EU, Twitter said.

The social media site said it was also launching an “internal elections group” to monitor content on the site and help “proactively protect” political conversation on the site.

Twitter director of public policy in Europe Karen White said the platform wanted to properly serve and protect debate around the elections with its tools.

“This May, millions of citizens from across the European Union’s (EU) 27 member states will have their say on the future political complexion of the European Parliament,” she said.

“The second largest democratic exercise of its kind in the world in 2019, the European elections will have a major impact on the region’s geopolitical outlook and priorities for the next five years.

“Twitter is committed to serving the public conversation around this major global event. As a real-time, live service, we seek to be the world’s window into the critical conversations happening right across Twitter between candidates, voters, journalists, political parties and groups, civil society, and electoral commissions.”

Twitter said it would also meet with political parties across Europe in the coming weeks to help with training on the site and to “promote healthy, constructive participation in the democratic process”.

- Press Association

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