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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.

Go deeper

Biden embarks on a consequential presidency

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Donald Trump tried everything to delegitimize the rival who vanquished him. In reality, he's set Joe Biden on course to be a far more consequential U.S. president than he might otherwise have become.

The big picture: President Biden now confronts not just a pandemic, but massive political divisions and an assault on truth — and the aftermath of the assault on the Capitol two weeks ago that threatened democracy itself.

Updated 12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

U.S. Capitol and stage are lit at sunrise ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden. Photo: Patrick Semansky - Pool/Getty Images

President Biden has delivered his inaugural address at the Capitol, calling for an end to the politics as total war but warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country.

What's next: Representatives from all branches of the military escort the 46th president to the White House.

Inaugural address: Biden vows to be "a president for all Americans"

Moments after taking the oath of office, President Biden sought to soothe a nation riven by political divisions and a global pandemic, while warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country and defeat a "virus that silently stalks the the country."

Why it matters: From the same steps that a pro-Trump mob launched an assault on Congress two weeks earlier, the new president paid deference to the endurance of American political institutions.

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