Advertisement Transparency in Facebook and Twitter

On the 28th of June, the social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter had announced about their new advertisement transparency tools. These tools were especially declared for political advertisements.

With this, the users can avoid the malicious activities related to the elections in US. Also, the users can find out who financed for the advertisements as well as identify the various advertisements with respect to the political campaigns.

Facebook’s Advertisement Scenario –

This decision was in fact due to the comments during the 2016 presidential elections which accused Facebook of not vetting the advertisements. They also scrutinized of them not doing a good job with the advertisement and privacy policies in providing details regarding the advertisements.

Facebook new Advertisement Transparency tool

Thus, as a matter of rectification of their mistake, the official announcement was made at a press conference by the COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg. She said the following –

“We had a choice about how broad would we paint the transparency brush and decided that the goal is transparency so we’re erring on the side of being more transparent and including more.
Our ultimate goal is very simple: We want to reduce bad ads and make sure people understand what they are saying. We believe advertisers and us should be held accountable for content and ads.” 

With the help of the new advertisement transparency, users could do the following –

  • Could visit public pages rather than just politicians or brands.
  • Obtain Information on the page as well as advertisements.
  • Info and Ads” panel would include history of the page, ads running on the page, name changes, etc.
  • Funds spent on the advertisements by various political organisations.
  • It also shows the advertisement in one particular country.
  • It would even show if the advertiser has a political background / nature or not.

Read More –

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Twitter’s Advertisement Scenario –

The co-founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, had also announced regarding their ad transparency.


Twitter’s general manager (revenue product), Bruce Falck said the following in a blog post

“We are making it clearer than ever who is advertising U.S. federal political campaign content on Twitter.”

This advertisement transparency would be worldwide but currently it focuses on the advertisements related to the US federal election campaign. Along with Facebook ad details, Twitter also shares the following details –

Twitter new Advertisement Transparency tool

  • A demographic targeting data for the advertisements (from US Political advertisers).
  • Information on billing.
  • Funds spent on ads.
  • The impression data per tweet.
  • Insight on promotions or ads from the previous week of any account.

Twitter plans on launching another policy regarding issue ads rather than campaign ads run by politicians.

Google has also rumored to follow the steps of Facebook and Twitter to provide advertisement transparency. Google hasn’t officially commented about it.

Hence, clearly this advertisement transparency will protect them from accusations of foreign meddling which is something that has plagued the social media, since the 2016 elections.

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Navaneetha Suresh

Navaneetha Suresh

Navaneetha, commonly known as "nav", loves to read, play badminton, play the keyboard and sing but when she's not doing any of those, she loves to write. What started as a high school hobby to write is now her ongoing passion.

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