Twitter says it will ease its 3-year ban on political advertising, the latest change from Elon Musk as he tries to boost revenue after buying the social media platform last year.
The company tweeted Tuesday night that “we will relax our ad policy for cause-based ads in the US.”
“We also plan to expand the political advertising we allow in the coming weeks,” the company said from its Twitter Safety account.
Twitter banned all political advertising in 2019, in response to growing concerns about the spread of misinformation on social media.
At the time, then-CEO Jack Dorsey said that while internet ads are powerful and effective for commercial advertisers, “that power brings significant risks to politics, where it can be used to sway votes to affect the lives of millions.” ”.
The latest move appears to represent a break with that policy, which had banned ads by candidates, political parties, or elected or appointed government officials.
Political advertising accounted for a portion of Twitter’s overall revenue, accounting for less than $3 million of total spending for the 2018 US midterm elections.
In reversing the ban, Twitter said “cause-based advertising can facilitate public conversation about important issues” and that the change will align the platform’s advertising policy with that of “TV and other media,” without providing further details. .
Facebook in March 2021 lifted its ban on ads for political and social issues which was implemented after the 2020 US presidential election.
Musk bills himself as a free speech warrior and bought Twitter because he apparently believed it was not living up to its potential as a free speech platform. But Tesla’s billionaire CEO has been forced to make big cost cuts and scramble to find more sources of revenue to justify the $44 billion purchase.