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Twitter Begins Labeling Political Ads Ahead of 2018 Election

U.S. advertisers will also need to verify their location to run political ads

Twitter will begin requiring U.S.-based advertisers to verify their location before running ads on divisive political issues like immigration and gun control, the company announced Thursday as it looks to add another layer of protection against the spread of misinformation ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

The San Francisco-based company will also start labeling political ads so that users can see who is running the campaigns.

“To provide people with additional information about individuals or organizations promoting issue ads, we’ve established a certification process that verifies an advertiser’s identity and location within the U.S.,” Twitter said in its statement.

Additional tweets on “legislative issues of national importance” that’ll require verification include civil rights, climate change, healthcare, abortion, national security, social security, taxes, and trade.

Twitter’s heightened awareness around political ads highlights Silicon Valley’s mindset ahead of the 2018 election. The new policies closely resemble Facebook’s decision to add “paid for by” labels to its ads earlier this year; the social network has also beefed up its verification process as well, requiring its advertisers to confirm their address via postcard.

The tech industry is looking to avoid the fallout it received from the 2016 presidential election, when Kremlin-tied trolls leveraged social media to reach more than 100 million people in the U.S. Despite the new measures, foreign adversaries are still working to spread fake news — with Facebook and Twitter announcing earlier this month they’d booted hundreds of Iranian and Russian accounts for sharing political misinformation.