Reddit has announced a new measure for political ads, and a new political ad transparency subreddit, in order to improve its political ad processes ahead of the coming US Presidential Election.
The first addition is a new rule which will require political advertisers to leave comments switched on for all their ads for at least the first 24 hours after launch.
As explained by Reddit:
"Beginning today, we will require political advertisers to work directly with our sales team and leave comments “on” for (at least) the first 24 hours of any given campaign. We will strongly encourage political advertisers to use this opportunity to engage directly with users in the comments."
Reddit says that this measure will spur "important conversation, enabling our users to provide their own feedback on political ads". Reddit's community is notoriously vocal on pretty much everything, so the additional measure will definitely get some use, and Reddit believes that it will add an extra level of accountability to claims in political ads.
In addition to this, Reddit has also announced a new subreddit dedicated to political ads transparency, which will list of all of the political ad campaigns running on Reddit, with data dating back to January 1, 2019.
"In this community, you will find information on the individual advertiser, their targeting, impressions, and spend on a per-campaign basis. We plan to consistently update this subreddit as new political ads run on Reddit, so we can provide transparency into our political advertisers and the conversation their ad(s) inspires."
The subreddit (r/RedditPoliticalAds) lists each new, approved political ad campaign as a separate post, while you can also download Excel listings of all Reddits political ads, including targeting, approximated spend and more.
Reddit maintains fairly strict controls over the political ads on its platform, with each campaign subjected to manual review, while political advertisers are also required to gain specific approval by presenting official documents for verification. Reddit doesn't allow untrue or misleading ads - a regulation which also applies to political ad content - while it also only allows political advertising in the US, and only federal campaign ads, not state-level political promotions.
These new measures will both increase accountability for political claims and add more transparency for poll watchers, which will help in detecting any attempted manipulation or influence campaigns on the platform.
You can read more about Reddit's updated political ad policies here.