Twitter Revamps Ad Policy

WASHINGTON — Twitter wasted no time in announcing an ad policy change, while likely hoping to head off legislated disclosures.

At about the same time House Republicans, as well as Democrats, were suggesting it was not a particularly heavy lift for online advertisers to disclose who was buying their political ads, Twitter announced that it was toughening its policy and, in fact, disclosing who was buying its political ads: “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. We will also change the look and feel of these ads and include a visual political ad indicator.”

But the move didn’t get edge providers off the hook in D.C. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), one of the sponsors of the Honest Ads Act, was pleased, but signaled it was just a good “first step.”

“The fact that Twitter appears to be taking a more proactive approach, while Facebook continues to resist, shows we cannot expect social media companies to hold themselves accountable and self-police their platforms,” Campaign Legal Center senior director, ethics, and general counsel Larry Noble said.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.