In the years leading up to its ban on political and issue-based advertising, Twitter was plagued by concerns that politicians were using paid advertisements to spread false or misleading information to targeted users.
In response, the social media platform decided to prohibit such ads.
Twitter Will Lift Ban on Political Ads
As of now, Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, has decided to lift the ban on political and issue-based ads that the company implemented a few years ago.
This change could potentially bring in more revenue for the social media platform, especially since Musk is seeking new sources of income.
However, this decision also carries some risks; it may expose users to various threats, such as AI-generated deep fakes and other methods of manipulating the platform that Twitter may not be able to prevent.
In the past, Twitter has acknowledged that it may not have the ability to address these kinds of issues.
Political advertisers are excited to return to Twitter as Elon Musk lifts the platform's 3-year-old ban on political ads https://t.co/C59akEbvcH
— Insider Business (@BusinessInsider) January 5, 2023
Twitter has announced that it will be lifting its ban on issue-based ads, stating these types of advertisements can encourage public discussion about important topics.
In the coming weeks, the platform will also be expanding its permission for political advertising, though further details have yet to be shared.
Going forward, Twitter’s advertising policies will likewise be similar to those of other media outlets, including television.
Twitter Struggles To Combat Spread of False Information
Although political advertising has not been a significant source of revenue for the company in the past, with only $3 million generated from such ads in 2018, the decision to allow them again comes at a time when Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, is seeking to increase revenue streams.
Since October, when Elon Musk took over Twitter, numerous brands have stopped advertising on the platform, due to concerns that Musk’s approach to moderating content could result in ads being placed next to hate speech and other controversial material.
In November, amid widespread layoffs to cut costs, Musk claimed that Twitter was losing $4 million daily. The decision to allow issue-based and political ads back on the platform has sparked concern among critics who worry about the potential for abuse.
Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced a ban on political ads to prevent advertisers from paying for reach in 2019.
Elon Musk, however, is deciding to build a new forum for massive amounts of money to be spent to influence politics.https://t.co/5hUCOH665X
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) January 6, 2023
In the past, Twitter has struggled to combat the spread of false or misleading information, and the company has acknowledged that it may not have the capacity to address all potential threats.
When CEO Jack Dorsey first introduced the advertising restrictions in 2019, he recognized that internet advertising is not like traditional forms of advertising because it allows for targeted messaging to individuals and creates opportunities for malicious actors to exploit technology.
The decision to lift the ban on political and issue-based advertising may provide a much-needed boost to Twitter’s revenue, but it also poses risks for the platform.