Jun 28, 2018

Facebook, Twitter reveal new ad transparency steps ahead of midterms

Photo: Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images

Facebook and Twitter revealed new ad transparency efforts Thursday ahead of the 2018 U.S. midterm elections.

Why it matters: Tech platforms like Facebook and Twitter are under pressure to put more processes in place around advertising transparency in response to nefarious actors, including foreign government-backed groups, getting away with buying advertising on these platforms during the 2016 presidential election.

Facebook is adding steps to make advertising on Facebook Pages more transparent.

  • Facebook will make ads that a Page is running across Facebook-owned properties — Facebook, Messenger and its Audience Network — visible to anyone, even if they aren't being targeted. They are also adding more information about any changes to Pages.

Twitter is launching its previously announced Ads Transparency Center, which brings more transparency to U.S. election ads and allows any user around the world to view who is buying ads on Twitter.

  • For U.S. political advertisers, users will now be able to see more details about their ad campaigns, like billing information, ad spend, impression data per tweet and demographic targeting data for the ads being served.
  • Twitter will be launching policy surrounding ads tied to specific issues in the future, as well as enhancements to the Ads Transparency Center itself.

The bottom line: The companies are trying to create more transparency around advertising spend in an effort to better control nefarious activity while not having to make as many tough judgment calls on free speech.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 p.m. ET: 721,817 — Total deaths: 33,968 — Total recoveries: 151,204.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 11 p.m. ET: 142,328 — Total deaths: 2,489 — Total recoveries: 4,767.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump says his administration will extend its "15 Days to Slow the Spread" guidelines until April 30.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week — Cuomo says Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "panicked" some people into fleeing New York
  6. World updates: Italy on Sunday reports 756 new deaths, bringing its total 10,779. Spain reports almost 840 dead, another new daily record that bring its total to over 6,500.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: Infections number tops 140,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The novel coronavirus has now infected over 142,000 people in the U.S. — more than any other country in the world, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: COVID-19 had killed over 2,400 people in the U.S. by Sunday night. That's far fewer than in Italy, where over 10,000 people have died — accounting for a third of the global death toll. The number of people who've recovered from the virus in the U.S. exceeded 2,600 Sunday evening.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates: Cases surge past 720,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

There are now more than 720,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins. The virus has now killed more than 33,000 people — with Italy alone reporting over 10,000 deaths.

The big picture: Governments around the world have stepped up public health and economic measures to stop the spread of the virus and soften the financial impact. In the U.S., now the site of the largest outbreak in the world, President Trump said Sunday that his administration will extend its "15 Days to Slow the Spread" guidelines until April 30.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health