Twitter details new policy banning political advertising that also limits ads pertaining to ‘issues’

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Twitter unveils details of new policy which bans political ads that ask for votes or money and limits ads about social or policy issues

  • Twitter detailed its political ad ban set to roll out next week 
  • The ban will include appeals for votes and solicitations for campaign funds 
  • Issue-based ads will also be limited in how they can be targeted
  • A ban is designed to help combat political misinformation 

 Twitter has detailed a new ban on political advertising that it says will cover appeals for votes, solicitations for campaign contributions and any political content.

According to the company, it will define political content to include any ad that references a candidate, political party, government official, ballot measure, or legislative or judicial outcome. 

Additionally, the ban will also apply to what the company is referring to as ‘issue’ oriented advertising – non-political ads from candidates, political parties and elected or appointed government officials that focus on a particular topics.  

Twitter detailed its political ad ban for the first time ahead of its expected roll out next week (Stock photo)

Twitter says it will still allow ads related to social causes such as climate change, gun control and abortion, but people and groups running such ads won´t be able to target those ads down to a user´s ZIP code or use political categories such as ‘conservative’ or ‘liberal.’ 

Rather, targeting must be kept broad, such as based on a user´s state or province. News organizations will be exempt so they can promote stories that cover political issues.

Twitter announced its ban on political ads last month, but didn’t release details until Friday. 

The policy is in stark contrast to Facebook´s approach of allowing political ads, even if they contain false information. 

Facebook has said it wants to provide politicians with a ‘level playing field’ for communication and not intervene when they speak, regardless of what they’re saying.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey (pictured above) denounced political advertising on the platform in October, drawing a stark contrast between he and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey (pictured above) denounced political advertising on the platform in October, drawing a stark contrast between he and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Response to Twitter´s ban has been strong and mixed, with critics questioning the company´s ability to enforce the new policy given its poor history banning hate speech and abuse from its service. 

The company acknowledges it will make mistakes but says it´s better to start addressing the issue now rather than wait until all the kinks are worked out.

Political advertising makes up a small sliver of Twitter’s overall revenue. The company does not break out specific figures each quarter, but said political ad spending for the 2018 midterm election was less than $3 million. It reported $824 million in third-quarter revenue.



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