Twitter and Facebook Update Ad Transparency Tools to Combat Fake News

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Article Credit: PerformanceIn

Twitter has announced a series of ad transparency tool which will show information about the ads people view and who is running them, addressing concerns around the alleged influence of Russian fake accounts and divisive ads during the 2016 US election.

As of today (June 28), anyone will be able to search for a Twitter account and see all the ads it has run in the past seven days.

For political advertisers in the US, users will be able to see billing information, ad spend, demographic targeting data and the number of viewed tweets under Twitter’s political campaigning policy.

The changes are part of Twitter’s broader efforts to clean up its social media services following last month’s introduction that requires advertisers running political ads for federal elections to identify themselves and certify they are located in the US in a bid to combating fake accounts and divisive ads.

In addition, Twitter is requiring new users to verify either an email address or phone number when creating an account as well as rolling out machine learnings tools to spot automated accounts – following its recent report that more than 9.9 million potential spam or automated accounts per week were identified and challenged.

This comes following Unilever’s chief marketing officer Keith Weed speech on fake followers and other fraudulent practices in influencer marketing at this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Meanwhile, Facebook is releasing new measures to improve transparency with ads displayed on its platform, where the social giant has been heavily criticised for the running of Russian-bought Facebook ads during the US election and the controversial data scandal by Cambridge Analytica last year.

As part of the measures, users on Facebook, Messenger or any of its partner platforms can view all ads as page posts, including creative and copy; and more page information, including recent name changes and page creation date.

“These steps are just the start – we’re always looking for more ways to improve,” said Facebook in an announcement; “By shining a bright light on all ads, as well as the Pages that run them, we’ll make it easier to root out abuse – helping to ensure that bad actors are held accountable for the ads they run.”

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