Twitter Announces No More Political Advertisements

Twitter is banning all political ads, globally, starting November 22nd of this year. 

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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, announced on Wednesday that Twitter has made the decision to stop all political advertising. He feels that a political message should be earned by the use of Twitter users and not furthered by money. Political advertising brings risk to the public as it can create misinformation and fake news and in turn could have a negative impact on voters. Paid political advertising, according to Dorsey, can force people to view a candidate's ad on a large scale meaning they can say whatever they want without repercussions. 

The decision restricts PAID campaign ads but that does not mean an UNPAID political message cannot be sent out to Twitter. The only difference is that an unpaid, political ad will depend on Twitter’s users to gain an audience and traction. This tactic makes a political message now need to rely heavily on Twitter users in order to reach a larger audience.

While Twitter is tackling a much larger issue as far as political advertising, they are prepared to handle a much smaller proportion of it in hopes to be a part of a future solution.

Final policy will be shared November 15th and will not take effect until November 22nd.

So far, social media ads dominate the political campaigning scene. Kantar, the world’s leading data, insights, and consulting company, projected a significant increase in digital, political ad spending in 2020. Digital avenues, such as social media, receive 20 percent of total political ad spending, estimating approximately $1.2 billion.

Facebook, however, dominates in political advertisements with an astounding $857 million since May 2018. Twitter, on the other hand, has only reported $3 million in political advertising in the same timeframe. According to the 2020 Campaign Tracker, candidates primarily utilize Facebook and Google with Donald Trump leading with a total of $3 million spent on Facebook alone.

It is obvious that more political advertising is spent on Facebook by a landslide compared to Twitter. I suspect that maybe this was done to put pressure on Facebook to take a similar course of action since they are the defining powerhouse in digital media campaigning. However, only time will tell if Mark Zuckerburg will decide to take similar action. This comes in the wake of the upcoming 2020 presidential election. Twitter is not a big factor when it comes to political campaigning like Facebook is, so whether this policy made by Twitter will make an impact on the 2020 election is yet to be determined.

View Twitter CEO’s full statement by clicking here.