Twitter to roll out new political ad policies, will exempt news outlets

Twitter to roll out new political ad policies, will exempt news outlets
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Twitter is letting news outlets apply for exemptions to its political and issue advertising policies, part of an update to the social media platform's political ad rules.

The company plans to implement an ad policy that would include new standards, such as archiving all political ads, in an effort to increase transparency. Other steps would include clearly labeling promoted tweets as containing “issue” or “political” content and requiring a certification process for accounts running those types of ads.

The policy changes will affect advocacy groups and candidates seeking public office.

Twitter said that news publishers meeting certain requirements can apply for an exemption from the new policies.

Publications eligible to apply for exemption must meet criteria such as having more than 200,000 monthly unique visitors to their site, displaying available contact and "about" information online and having a searchable archive.

“We don’t believe that news organizations running ads on Twitter that report on these issues, rather than advocate for or against them, should be subject to this policy,” wrote Twitter's Del Harvey, vice president of trust and safety, and Bruce Falck, general manager of revenue product in a post announcing the changes.

The policies are set to go into effect on Sept. 30 in the U.S.

The issue of how to categorize news organizations' ads has become contentious after Facebook announced similar changes earlier this year. News outlets began to notice that their ads were being flagged for removal as a result of new political ad transparency rules.

Many publications have pushed back, expressing frustration that they’re being lumped into the same category as politicians and advocacy groups.

Facebook has defended its changes, saying it wanted to err on the side of transparency.