Home Technology Facebook and Twitter Expand Peek Into Who’s Behind Their Ads

Facebook and Twitter Expand Peek Into Who’s Behind Their Ads


MENLO PARK, Calif. — Social media companies, stepping up efforts to stop disinformation on their online platforms ahead of this year’s midterm elections, unveiled on Thursday new tools aimed at improving transparency around advertisements.

In simultaneous announcements, Facebook and Twitter said they were broadening efforts around public, searchable archives of ads that run on their sites.

Twitter, which has begun requiring that anyone running a campaign ad go through a verification process, said Thursday that it was introducing an Ads Transparency Center, which allows the public to view a database of any ad run on the platform.

Facebook, which made a database of political ads public last month, announced on Thursday that it intended to make it easier to see background details — such as the buyer — of all ads running across Facebook and its various platforms, including Instagram and Messenger.

Each Facebook page will now have a tab called “Info and Ads.” Clicking on that tab will reveal every ad a page runs, as well as details about the page itself, including when it was founded and any name changes.

“Our ultimate goal is very simple: We want to reduce bad ads and make sure people understand what they are saying,” said Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer. “We believe advertisers and us should be held accountable for content and ads.”

Facebook has promised to label news separately, after a backlash from publishers.

Both Twitter and Facebook have been roundly criticized for allowing Russian agents to use the social media services in an effort to manipulate the 2016 presidential election. And lawmakers and independent researchers have questioned why the companies have been slow to respond to the problem.

Facebook, which has repeatedly stated that the political ad archive is a work in progress, has fought criticism that too many campaign ads slip through, while ads that have no political undertones are incorrectly flagged.

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page B2 of the New York edition with the headline: Facebook and Twitter Unveil New Systems To Verify Advertisers. XooIns | XooIns | XooIns


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