Oct 31, 2019

Twitter banned political ads with a tweet

Twitter, the platform where a large portion of today’s online political discourse takes place, is banning paid political ads.
Founder and CEO Jack Dorsey today (Oct. 30) explained the company’s decision in a tweet, which will be enforced beginning in November.

“A political message earns reach when people decide to follow an account or retweet,” Dorsey wrote. “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.”

After backlash following evidence of foreign intervention in the 2016 US presidential election and Brexit, Twitter unveiled a number of policies aimed to prevent future misinformation campaigns from gaining traction on the platform. In May 2018, it began requiring US political campaigns to be certified and prove they weren’t using foreign funds in order to run ads. It even launched an Ad Transparency Center, where the public could view every political campaign ad and additional details like amount of ad spend, targeted demographic, and number of impressions. Earlier this year, it extended its transparent ads policy to Europe, India, and Australia ahead of key elections in those regions. Issue-based campaigns, such as immigration or climate change, also had to register with Twitter.