International

Elon Musk's Twitter To Lift Ban On Political Ads

In order to ‘facilitate public conversation around important topics,’ the company said on Tuesday, it would increase the amount of political advertising it allows in the upcoming weeks.

Twitter CEO Elon Musk
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Political advertisements will no longer be restricted on Twitter, according to the company, which also said that issue-based paid content will be accepted right now and that political advertisements will resume "in the coming weeks."

In order to "facilitate public conversation around important topics," the company said on Tuesday that it would increase the amount of political advertising it allows in the upcoming weeks. It would also align its advertising policy with that of TV and other media outlets. 

“We believe that cause-based advertising can facilitate public conversation around important topics. Today, we're relaxing our ads policy for cause-based ads in the US. We also plan to expand the political advertising we permit in the coming weeks,” the company tweeted. 

The move marks a break from the global prohibition on political advertisements by candidates, elected officials, and parties that Jack Dorsey, Twitter's co-founder and CEO at the time, initially declared in 2019.

Donald Trump's re-election campaign was outraged by the prohibition, which Dorsey defended by stating that "political message reach should be earned, not bought."

But since Musk paid $44 billion to acquire Twitter, he has accused the company's prior management of censorship and implemented significant changes with little advance notice. 

The firm has made a number of changes, including ending a rule that prohibited the dissemination of Covid false information, restoring the accounts of Trump and other right-wing figures, and prohibiting users from tracking Musk's private jet.

The move comes at a time when platform advertisers are fleeing in droves following Elon Musk's takeover in October, which was followed by an increase in hate speech and the restoration of some right-wing accounts that had been previously banned.

The move also aligns Twitter with a number of other significant social media platforms, like Facebook from Meta and YouTube from Google, both of which permit funded political content.

ByteDance's TikTok is one prominent exception, as it continues to forbid political advertising.

With some limitations, Twitter currently permits some so-called issue ads or cause-based advertisements for some economic, environmental, and social subjects. The company announced that it would also flex its US policy for similar cause-based advertisements.

Prior to the prohibition, Twitter received a meagre $3 million in revenue from political advertising during the 2018 US midterm elections.

However, the relaxation may benefit a business that is now working to stop a decline in ad income as advertisers leave the site over worries about its moderating practises.

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