Twitter said Thursday that it would begin requiring some organizations that purchase political ads on topics such as abortion, health-care reform and immigration to disclose more information about themselves to users, part of the tech giant's attempt to thwart bad actors, including Russia, from spreading propaganda ahead of the 2018 election.
The new policy targets promoted tweets that mention candidates or advocate on "legislative issues of national importance," Twitter executives said in a blog post. To purchase these ads, individuals and groups must verify their identities. If approved, their ads then would be specially labeled in users' timelines and preserved online for the public to view. And promoted tweets, and the accounts behind them, would be required disclose the name of the actual organization that purchased the ad in the first place.
Twitter's changes come in response to the 2016 presidential election, when agents tied to the Russian government took to major social media sites, including Facebook and Google, to spread disinformation and sow social unrest in the United States.