After a long and huge controversy about the data leak, Facebook and Twitter have come up with a cover-up. They have revealed a new ad policy yesterday in order to provide transparency. They have made sure that the advertisements will have more details about their political backing.
The only trouble is, it all depends on how much effort the users are willing to put into doing the research. While most brands and companies that buy ads on the social media platforms are legitimate, those marketers have their own concerns about brand safety and don’t want to be associated with media companies that invite controversy and user hostility.
Twitter has taken steps to clean up its platform, which lets users maintain anonymity unless they get permission to have verified accounts. That veil of privacy has opened the people to spread hatred, make unions and campaigns run by bots and obviously cyberbullying. Twitter has responded with various attempts to eliminate trolls and curb harassment over the years.
As for Facebook, it has opened a new section on every Facebook page with information on all of the ads the page is running. On the same page, you’ll also be able to see when the page was created, and when, if ever, it’s changed its name. For political ads, it will show who paid for the ad.
Twitter also launched its ads database named as the ‘Ads Transparency Center’ on Thursday. It will show all ad campaigns that have run on a Twitter handle over the past seven days. Political advertising will have additional information including billing information, ad expenditure, how many times the ad was loaded and the intended audience.
Both of them are another step towards adding more checks in their ad ecosystem after the election revealed that the foreign parties had purchased advertising in an attempt to sway the 2016 election. Facebook said about 10 million people saw ads bought by Russian groups trying to influence U.S. opinion. To see both companies make strides to get rid of is promising, but it will take time for people to recover from the massive break of trust.
While the Cambridge Analytica scandal from earlier this year revealed how Facebook’s global reach was leveraged for political campaigns in the 2016 U.S. election. The social network played a key role in spreading the fake news in countries that don’t have any proof or speculations about it. It’s a progressive step, although how many companies are okay with revealing to be known, is something only time will tell.