Reddit has announced that it’ll be publicly disclosing all political ads, as well as some other service requirements from this point on.

This came ahead of the elections in the fall. This is Reddit’s attempt to address transparency.

Political ads were subject to the same scrutiny as all ads in the past, meaning that they were forbidden to be “deceptive, untrue or misleading,” in keeping with the advertising policy as it already existed.

Reddit now specifically defines “political ads” to be any of the following:

  • Ads related to campaigns or elections, or that solicit political donations.
  • Ads that promote voting or voter registration (discouraging voting or voter registration is not allowed).
  • Ads promoting political merchandise (for example, products featuring a public office holder or candidate, political slogans, etc.).
  • Issue ads or advocacy ads pertaining to topics of potential legislative or political importance or placed by political organizations.

The policy specific to political ads has also been updated with the following specifications:

  • All political ads will be manually approved.
  • Political advertisers will need to present additional information to verify their identity.
  • Obvious “paid for by” disclosures must be present.
  • Political ads are only accepted within the U.S., at the federal level – no state/local, or outside U.S. election ads will be accepted

This new policy includes a number of new requirements that specifically focus on political advertising.

Among these, political advertisers much work directly with the Reddit sales team, and comments are required to be open for 24 hours.

According to Reddit, the 24 hour comment requirement is to foster open discourse that the platform is well known for.

To champion the transparency, Reddit announced a subreddit which will chronicle all political advertising that has run on Reddit since January 1, 2019.

The subreddit will have one post per ad that has been run, with extensive detail about each one.

This includes:

  • Advertiser/Organization
  • Billing Name
  • Billing Zip
  • Spend
  • Impressions
  • Geo-targeting
  • Negative Geo-targeting
  • Targeted Subreddits
  • Negatively Targeted Subreddits
  • Interest Targeting
  • Negative Interest Targeting
  • Ad Duration
  • Link to the Ad

There are also links to all the ads published by year, with links to both 2019 and 2020.

Reddit says that their accuracy rate during that time period was 92%.

Both announcements are listed at the top of r/PoliticalAds.

SourceSusan Wenograd