Twitter to Stop Running Political Ads Ahead of 2020 Election Cycle

Twitter is changing its advertising policy ahead of the 2020 election cycle. This week, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced that the social media network will no longer be allowing political ads on its platform. Dorsey made the announcement in a thread on, you guessed it, Twitter.

“We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought,” Dorsey tweeted.

“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. While internet advertising is incredibly powerful and very effective for commercial advertisers, that power brings significant risks to politics, where it can be used to influence votes to affect the lives of millions.”

Twitter’s stance is a complete contrast to that of Facebook, which not only allows political ads but does not bother to fact-check them.

“Internet political ads present entirely new challenges to civic discourse: machine learning-based optimization of messaging and micro-targeting, unchecked misleading information, and deep fakes. All at increasing velocity, sophistication, and overwhelming scale,” Dorsey continued.

“We’re well aware we‘re a small part of a much larger political advertising ecosystem. Some might argue our actions today could favor incumbents. But we have witnessed many social movements reach massive scale without any political advertising. I trust this will only grow.”

According to Twitter’s chief financial officer Ned Segal, political ads accounted for less than $3 million in revenue for Twitter during the 2018 cycle.

“Since we are getting questions: This decision was based on principle, not money. As context, we’ve disclosed that political ad spend for the 2018 US midterms was <$3M. There is no change to our Q4 guidance. I am proud to work @twitter,” Segal wrote.

The full policy will be announced on November 15, while political ads will halt on November 22.

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