Twitter demands verification for Aussie political ads

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Wednesday, 20 February, 2019

Twitter demands verification for Aussie political ads

Australian political parties and candidates advertising on Twitter for the upcoming election will need to be verified by 11 March under new policies implemented by the company.

Twitter is introducing stricter policies for political advertisers for Australia, EU member states and India.

Under the new policies, only certified advertisers will be able to run political campaign ads on Twitter. Political advertisers including parties, candidates and staffers will need to complete a multistage certification process before making use of the platform for the service.

The new rules are based on the Political Campaigning Policy implemented for advertisers in the US last May.

Twitter's policy for Australia states that political campaign ads must also meet certain additional eligibility requirements, including ensuring that the profile details of the advertiser be consistent with the handle's online presence and contains valid contact information.

Political campaign advertisers will be prohibited from using foreign payment methods, and must be compliant with all Australian laws regarding disclosure and content requirements, spending limits and other restrictions.

Campaign ads must also only be promoted via the use of promoted tweets and in-stream video ads.

The policy includes an exception for advertising deemed to be issue advocacy ads, which are permitted without restriction.

Meanwhile, Twitter is moving to ensure that ads endorsing parties or candidates for elections in Australia, the EU and India are viewable in its Ads Transparency Center portal, which provides information including billing information of the parties paying for the ad, as well as demographic targeting data for ads being served.

The new policies form part of Twitter's response to the growing scrutiny social media companies are facing over the use of their platform to spread 'fake news' in attempts to influence the outcomes of elections worldwide.

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