Twitter has retained D.C.-based government relations shop Integrated Solutions Group in response to a recently introduced bill that could fundamentally change how paid political advertising is regulated on social media sites, reports O’Dwyer’s, which added that in October,  “Senators Mark Warner (D-VA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John McCain (R-AZ) unveiled S. 1989, or the “Honest Ads Act.” That bipartisan piece of legislation aims to enhance transparency and accountability for online political ads by establishing a framework similar to endorsement rules governing TV, radio and print ad campaigns, thereby making it more difficult for foreign actors to use social media sites to influence U.S. politics.

“Among other provisions, the “Honest Ads Act” would require Internet platforms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter to disclose in a public database the names of persons or groups that purchase political ads exceeding $500.

“The proposed legislation comes as U.S. officials continue unraveling the prolific extent to which Russia used political ads placed across social media platforms in an effort to spread disinformation and foment dissent in the months leading up to the 2016 presidential election.

“Officials at Twitter, along with Facebook and Google, testified at Congressional hearings in October and November convened for the purpose of examining Russia’s role in last year’s election. Facebook admitted that as many as 126 million people in the U.S. may have been exposed to Russian propaganda in the form of posts over its platform, including $100,000 spent by Saint Petersburg-based troll farm the Internet Research Agency. Google said it had uncovered about $4,700 worth of Russia-linked ads across its YouTube, Gmail and search platforms, and Twitter said it discovered more than 2,700 accounts tied to Kremlin-backed organizations, far more than the company had initially estimated.”

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