Twitter pledges to disclose political contributions within 48 hours

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According to the Center for Public Integrity, Twitter has announced a new policy that its PAC will disclose all contributions within 48 hours. This is perhaps the most rapid disclosure policy adopted by a major U.S. corporation.

PACs normally file on a quarterly basis, but they can choose to file monthly during election years. Corporate PACs can raise funds from their employees, retirees and stockholders as well as their family members.

Twitter created a political action committee in 2013, and yes, there is a hashtag in its name. The PAC currently has $94,000 in its coffers, but it hasn’t yet made any contributions. Twitter will also publicly disclose its contributions to trade associations and other membership groups, which are the leading sources of “dark money” in elections.

Twitter executives have indicated that they plan to donate to members who support its views on privacy, transparency and patent reform. The company already has two in-house lobbyists and has contracted with three lobbying firms, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Twitter’s commitment tracks closely with requirements under the Real Time Transparency Act (RTTA), a Sunlight-supported bill that was recently introduced in the Senate by Angus King, I-Maine, and in the House by Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas. The RTTA, which was also introduced in the last Congress, would require political committees to publish online donations totaling more than $1,000 within 48 hours of receipt.

Twitter’s proactive disclosure is a positive step forward for transparency, and one we’d like to see other groups follow suit.