Although almost 4 years after Twitter political ads were banned from the platform, Twitter announced that they would remove the restriction it placed on these political ads.
Conservatives blasted the move, which was in contrast to Facebook’s decision to allow political ads to continue airing on its platform, even though it prohibited ads from all political parties.
Twitter is currently changing its mind thanks to CEO Elon Musk. Twitter had these to say about the subject:
“We believe that cause-based advertising can facilitate a public conversation around important topics. Today, we’re relaxing our ad policy for cause-based ads in the US. We also plan to expand the political advertising we permit in the coming weeks,”
Why did Twitter political ads were banned in the first place?
Twitter decided to ban political ads at the beginning of 2019 while Jack Dorsey was still the CEO of the platform. Jack Dorsey stated that he did not want the platform to generate revenue from its political content by saying:
“A political message earns reach when people decide to follow an account or retweet,”
“Paying for reach removes that decision, forcing highly optimized and targeted political messages on people. We believe this decision should not be compromised by money.”
-Jack Dorsey, ex-CEO of Twitter
According to Dorsey, it would be “not credible” for Twitter to claim to consumers that it is dedicated to halting the spread of disinformation while yet enabling marketers to target people with political advertisements simply because they have paid Twitter to do so.
Without specifically mentioning Facebook or its CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Dorsey appeared to criticize the company’s stance on political advertising. At a Georgetown University event devoted to that concept, Zuckerberg spoke about the value of “free expression” in Facebook’s political ad policy in 2019.
In his final tweet on the subject, Dorsey made the following remark:
“This isn’t about free expression. This is about paying for reach. And paying to increase the reach of political speech has significant ramifications that today’s democratic infrastructure may not be prepared to handle. It’s worth stepping back in order to address.”
-Jack Dorsey, ex-CEO of Twitter
Twitter political ads are back
Money is one of the key reasons Twitter would want political advertisements back on the site. According to reports, Musk’s move-fast, “do lots of dumb stuff” management style, the reinstatement of previously banned accounts, and his cozying up to individuals advocating right-wing agendas and conspiracy theories have caused Twitter to lose sponsors. As the U.S. gets closer to the elections in 2024, interest in political advertising should increase.
Cause-based advertisements, which include issues like social justice, community involvement, and environmental stewardship, continue to appear to be prohibited internationally but are permitted in the United States. The only difference between a more recent snapshot from November 2022 and the current version of Twitter’s official page on that subject is that “advertisers whose cause-based advertising target only within the United States are exempt from the above-listed restrictions.”
The official Twitter Safety account announced the return of political ads on the platform as follows:
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.
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) January 3, 2023
Twitter political ads changes might be presented to users’ voting
Elon Musk’s decision to ban the links of other social media platforms and relaunch Twitter blue received a huge reaction from the users of the platform, and Musk immediately apologized to users and said that every change on the platform would be open to voting from now on. The fact that political advertisements will be on the platform is also a big factor and we think that users will express their opinions on this subject.
However, if there is a vote, it is difficult to predict whether this will affect Twitter’s decision because Twitter had previously opened to voting where the view count will be seen in the tweets, but the platform preferred to apply the opposite of the votes and put the view count where they wanted. Elon Musk, on the other hand, humorously tweeted that a decision was taken against the result of the vote:
So you’re saying you prefer the right? Heheh
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 23, 2022
Twitter political ads unban will happen in the next few days. According to many sources, while the role of money in this decision is great, there is no comment from political parties about the issue yet. Twitter Files, published by a user on the Twitter platform, which has been on the agenda many times in 2022 and promoted by Musk, will not be examined by the FBI.