Twitter to implement transparency in political ad funding

• In an attempt to bring transparency in political advertisements ahead of general election in India, Twitter said it will provide a new dashboard showing such expenditures by political parties on its platform.

• The US-based company is also engaging with various stakeholders, including Election Commission of India (ECI), to verify candidates as well as train parties and election officials on using Twitter and teach them how to report suspicious, abusive, and rule-violating activity to Twitter.

Key concerns highlighted by the twitter

• With elections slated to be held in the coming months, the Indian government has taken a tough stance on the issue and warned social media platforms of strong action if any attempt was made to influence the country’s electoral process through undesirable means.

• Twitter collaborates with national election officials around the world, including the Election Commission of India, to ensure advertising by political parties on the platform is transparent.

• Twitter said in addition to its Ads policies, all political advertisers must comply with applicable laws regarding disclosure and content requirements, eligibility restrictions, and blackout dates for the locations where they advertise.

• For advertising by political parties and candidates in India, Kaul said Twitter will ensure that all parties that want to advertise with Twitter have a certification by the Election Commission.

• Besides, Twitter is also engaging with various political parties and candidates for verified accounts.

• Twitter – which counts India among its priority markets – already has a large number of politicians in the country on its platform, who engage with residents and extensively use it around elections.

• Twitter has introduced a new initiative ‘#ChaupalOnTwitter’ to encourage more civic discussion and participation between communities and their leaders through the microblogging platform.

• Another initiative called ‘#PowerOf18’ aims to encourage Indian youth to contribute to public debate and participate in civic engagement ahead of the upcoming elections.

• On the proposed amendment in IT rules for intermediaries, Crowell said a “carefully crafted balance” needs to be struck between ensuring safety and security of users and steps that could impact free expression.

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Mains Paper 2: Polity

Prelims level: Twitter

Mains level: Role of social media in polity

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