Two of the largest social networks are doing more to call out political advertisements. Both Facebook and Twitter today outlined their new policies, which should increase the visibility of ads that are purchased for political purposes. On Facebook, all election-related ads must be clearly labeled as such with a “Paid for” disclosure so viewers know what entity sponsored the ad. Moreover, advertisers that wish to run political ads will need to verify their identity and location in the U.S. Twitter is putting similar rules into effect. On Twitter, advertisers will need to identify themselves and certify that they are located in the U.S. Further, candidates for office will need to provide their federal election certifications and IDs. Twitter says handles used for political campaigning must adhere to stricter guidelines. For example, profile photos, header photos, and other online information must be consistent across the entity’s online presence. Valid contact information is required, as are new badges and disclaimers that call out the content as an ad. The social networks hope these measures will provide clarity in the forthcoming election season and prevent the spread of misinformation.
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