In the coming months, the social media company will mark all political ads on its service with a special icon and a "promoted by" label. Users will also be able to see who purchased the ad and whom it targets. Additionally, Twitter's new Advertising Transparency Center will let users review current ad campaigns, including content that isn't related to politics.
Twitter's announcement comes about a week before the company is set to testify in front of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees about how Russian sources used the platform during the 2016 presidential election. Twitter said it found about 200 accounts linked to Russian operatives and ads purchased by the Kremlin-backed news organization Russia Today.
The company also vowed to help identify issue-based ads, which were used heavily by Russian sources last year, but didn't say how it would tackle that goal. The new policies will give Twitter something to show investigators, who've been critical of the company's response so far. Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.), from the Senate Intelligence Committee, called Twitter's September briefing to lawmakers inadequate.
"The notion that their work was basically derivative, based upon accounts that Facebook had identified, showed an enormous lack of understanding from the Twitter team of how serious this issue is, the threat it poses to democratic institutions, and again, begs many more questions than they [answer]," Warner said at a press conference after the briefing.
Twitter wasn't the only social media platform used by Russian operatives during the election. Facebook found 470 accounts with Russian ties had purchased 3,000 ads that were designed to rile users, while other companies like Google, Snapchat, and Reddit have started speaking up as well.