Twitter will run some political ads, just not from politicians or political groups
FILE - This July 9, 2019, file photo shows a sign outside of the Twitter office building in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
TORONTO -- Twitter has clarified details of its new policy banning political ads to explain that while politicians and political groups will be banned from advertising on its platform, other groups and qualified news outlets will be able to mention political issues in advertisements.
The policy, which comes into effect on Nov. 22 globally, will ban ads that reference political content, including appeals for votes and financial support, and prevent candidates or political parties from paying for ads.
“Twitter globally prohibits the promotion of political content,” read the update to Twitter’s policy.
“We have made this decision based on our belief that political message reach should be earned, not bought.”
Twitter defines political content as content that “references a candidate, political party, elected or appointed government official, election, referendum, ballot measure, legislation, regulation, directive, or judicial outcome.”
However, the social media company will allow ads from private companies that aim to educate or raise awareness for civic engagement, or call for action towards a politicized issue like climate change, for example, provided those ads are not used to drive a political agenda.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey first announced the move to ban political ads in October.
Many saw the move as a challenge to competitor Facebook who has come under fire for its stance on political advertising and exempting politicians from its fact checking initiative.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg fired back at Twitter during an earnings call in October, noting that his company believes “political speech is important.”
Political advertising does not represent a large slice of Twitter’s overall revenue.
The company says political ad spending for the 2018 U.S. midterm election was less than US$3 million, for example. Candidates and parties spend significantly more purchasing ads on Facebook.
- With files from The Associated Press