Social Media

Social media giants tighten norms for political ads

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on April 07, 2019

Twitter has introduced political advertising transparency standards in India, which are already in place in the US, the EU and Australia


With Facebook tightening rules for political advertisements in Europe ahead of the Brexit vote, its arm in India, as well as other players such as Twitter and Google, have laid out rules for political parties in the run-up to the general elections.

Twitter has introduced political advertising transparency standards in India, which are already in place in the US, the EU and Australia. The micro-blogging site has also set up an Ads Transparency Centre that can be accessed by anyone.

Siddharth Hegde, MD, Ethinos Digital Marketing, termed Twitter’s political ads policy a much-needed move. “Most countries across the world already have such policies in place, and this is a first for India for its forthcoming elections. We are likely to see more transparent conversations and campaigns and a decrease in the number of companies and individuals running fake campaigns,” he said.

Stating that fake news has been a huge challenge for social media, Hegde said such policies would serve as a huge deterrent.

Meanwhile, a voluntary code of ethics has been developed by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), and has been submitted by the Election Commission of India. Facebook, Google and YouTube have said they will cooperate with the Election Commission of India to ensure a free and fair elections, and that only pre-authorised Indian advertisers would be allowed to run political ads on their platform.

Read More: Facebook takes down 687 pages ‘linked’ to Congress; party says it’s untouched

Keeping tabs on FB

Last December, Facebook also launched a similar political advertising policy, requiring political advertisers to be vetted by Facebook before they could run political ads in India.

The social media company has since released an online searchable Ad Library, which includes political ads from a particular advertiser, as well as information such as ad budget, number of impressions, and the targeted demographics.

Google India has also launched a slewof monitoring and policy initiatives in India related to the elections. It has introduced an India-specific Political Advertising Transparency Report and searchable political ads library, which will be a one-stop-shop for comprehensive information on who is purchasing election ads on Google’s platforms and will include payment details.

Published on April 07, 2019

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