Twitter issues verification deadline to Australian political advertisers

Social media service Twitter has launched its political campaigning policy in Australia ahead of the upcoming Federal election.

The service will require political parties, candidates and staffers advertising on the platform to be verified by Twitter by the middle of next month.

A view of Twitter’s San Francisco office

Political advertisers have been told by Twitter they must apply immediately for certification with enforcement of the policy beginning on the week of March 11. The Federal election is expected to be called for mid-May.

Mumbrella has asked Twitter what sanctions will be in place for organisations not complying with the policy and whether it applies to third parties such as industry groups, trade unions and activist bodies such as GetUp! and Sleeping Giants.

The model is similar to the one put in place by Twitter for recent elections the U.S., Mexico, and Brazil and is also being rolled out for upcoming polls in the EU and India.

Twitter will also require individuals associated with the accounts to provide a profile photo, header image, and website consistent with the user’s online presence and a website cited in the account’s biography which provides valid contact info.

If a Twitter handle is not related to the certified entity, the bio must include a disclaimer saying it is owned by that group or individual.

The public will be able to view promoted tweets run over the previous seven by political bodies in the Twitter Ad Transparency Centre.

In a public post, the service wrote: “Improving the collective health of the public conversation is our number one priority as a company, and protecting the integrity of elections is an essential part of our mission.

“As a real-time, live service, we seek to be the world’s window into the critical election conversations happening right across Twitter between candidates, voters, journalists, political parties, civil society, electoral commissions, and the public at large.

“We’re already working proactively to support and protect these conversations, and today we’re detailing some of the additional steps we’re taking ahead of the 2019 #AusVotes election.”

As part of their announcement, Twitter also said they will be releasing a special election emoji along with working alongside various media organisations including the Walkley Foundation and the Online News Association.


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