Issue Ads Policy FAQs

Policy

Who does the policy apply to?

Twitter's Political Content Policy includes Issue Advocacy which applies to ads that refer to an election or a clearly identified candidate or ads that advocate for legislative issues of national importance. Note that this policy applies to promoted content related to federal, state, and local elections.

What issues will be covered under this policy?

Examples of issues covered under the policy include, but are not limited to: abortion, civil rights, climate change, guns, healthcare, immigration, national security, social security, taxes, and trade.

Will the issue ads policy cover other issues in the future?

We are continually looking into these issues based on the U.S. political climate. Issues that are not a legislative issue now may be in the future and we will continue to update this list over time.

Does the policy apply to non-federal elections?

Yes, all promoted political content will be considered an issue ad with a carveout for federal political content that is subject to a more stringent certification process.

Does the policy apply to individuals currently in office?

We will assess if an account requires certification based on the content of the Promoted Tweets themselves, not the handle owner.

Does the policy apply to ads that sell a product or a service?

Issue ads that advocate for legislative issues of national importance tend not to sell a product or a service, however, policy compliance is assessed on a case by case basis.

Can I use my Twitter Promote Mode account to run issue ads?

No, all issue ads must come from the dedicated ads account created after completing the certification process.

When does enforcement begin?

Policy enforcement began October 2018.

 

Certification

Why is Twitter requiring certification? 

Certification allows us to validate an advertiser’s identity and location and provide additional details on the ads within the Ads Transparency Center.

Do I need to go through the certification process?

If you are an advertiser that promotes issue ads you need to get certified. If you are already certified as a federal political advertiser you do not need to go through the certification again and can submit handles that you wish to run issue ads from through the Ads Help Page.  

Who can initiate the certification process?

Any user that has access to the ads account for a specific handle can access the application in the Ads Help Page.

Do I need a new handle to apply for certification?

No, you should submit existing handles when applying for certification. Twitter will not create a new handle on your behalf.

Do I need an ads account to apply for certification?

Yes, to access the Ads Help Page you need to create an ads account. Currently, this link is only available to handles that have an ads account. Visit ads.twitter.com to create an ads account.

What are the eligibility criteria for submitted handles?

The handle(s) you submit for certification must comply with additional requirements. Make sure all submitted handles comply with the following:

  • Profile photo, header photo, and website must be consistent with the handle’s online presence.
  • Bio must include a website that provides valid contact info.
  • If handle name is not related to the certified entity, the bio must include the following disclaimer: "Owned by [certified entity name]".

Do I need to appear before a notary?

No, this requirement is only for federal political certification.

If I’m a 501(c), do I need to get certified?

Nonprofits and all entities that that engage in issue advocacy fall within the policy and should get certified.

How long does the certification process take?

Approximately 7-10 days.

I received the letter, now what?

Follow the instructions on the letter to proceed with the certification process.

I did not receive a letter, what do I do?

If you do not receive a letter after 10 days please let us know by responding to the confirmation email from Twitter Support.

What happens after I am certified?

You will be allowed to promote issue ads from eligible handles and will be prompted to fill-in a “Paid for by” disclaimer.  

If the handle is certified for issue advertising, will all its ads show in the Ads Transparency Center?

Promoted Tweets created from the dedicated issue ads account will show in the ATC indefinitely. Promoted Tweets from non-political advertisers will be available for seven days.

What if I want to run both federal and non-federal political ads?

You may do so through the different ads accounts Twitter creates after completing the certification process. You only need to get certified to run ads from the federal political advertiser account and can then add handles for issue ads certification.

I’ve completed the certification process, how do I add new handles?

Advertisers can submit additional handles through the Ads Help Page.

 

News Exemption

Why is there a news exemption?

Twitter's mission is to serve the public conversation and we're distinguishing between organizations or individuals advocating for an issue and those reporting on an issue.

What is the criteria for the news exemption?

  • The publication’s website must have a minimum of 200,000 monthly unique visitors in the United States.
  • Contact information is available online.
  • ‘About’ information is available online.
  • Dedicated reporter/editorial staff information is available online.
  • The publication has a searchable archive available online.
  • The publication is not primarily a user-generated or aggregated content platform.
  • The publication is not dedicated to advocating on a single issue.

Can handles from journalists or editorial staff be exempted?

Yes, however, they must meet the following requirements:  

  • Profile includes the journalist’s name.
  • Bio discloses affiliation to news publisher and links to the publication’s website.
  • Bio states they are a reporter/journalist.
  • Reporter/journalist must be listed in their parent org website.

What happens if a news publisher does not have an associated website?

News publishers can submit their parent organization’s website as long as their affiliation is stated within it.

Can news entertainment shows get exempted?

News entertainment shows are not considered news publishers and would need to get certified to run issue ads.  

 


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