Twitter Plans To Reverse Its Ban On Political Ads To Support Its Revenue

Under Elon Musk, Twitter has seen a handful of changes and the company has announced plans to lift the ban on political ads imminently on Monday. The latest announcement comes amid dwindling spending by advertisers on the platform. Elon Musk had accused activist groups of pressuring advertisers to suspend advertising on Twitter. Although it has been clarified now, the CEO also accused Apple of threatening to take down Twitter and of hating “free speech” in America. 

The ban on political ads was first enacted in 2019 with the rationale being “political message reach should be earned, not bought,” differentiating Twitter from other platforms which were making money off political ads. 

Twitter also announced that it will be relaxing its policies related to cause-based ads in the US. These types of ads are related to topics like environmental change and social equity. The company failed to specify what was being reviewed but stated on its ads policy page that cause-based ads should be restricted by location. “Advertisers whose cause-based ads target only within the United States are exempt from the above-listed restrictions,” the page reads.

Twitter has always allowed cause-based ads with the condition that specific target filters cannot be applied by advertisers to these campaigns. This is, however, about to change under Elon Musk’s leadership. Twitter will play the role of watchdog, however, as it will “first ensure that our approach to reviewing and approving content protects people.”

One of the focuses that Elon Musk had after taking over Twitter was to increase the company’s revenue. The CEO introduced the Twitter Blue subscription pegged at $8. The decision to reverse the ban on political ads is also a way to support the company’s revenue. With the forthcoming 2024 elections, political spending is expected to increase as political entities are expected to do everything to win voters. According to Twitter’s then-CFO Ned Segal, political ads accounted for $3 million during the 2018 US midterms. 

The details surrounding the latest development are still quite unclear, so it is unsafe to say how this will have an effect on advertising and misinformation on Twitter. 

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