As we get ready to ring in the new year, Twitter is making new rules that will affect our newsfeed. On the heels of the 2020 election, Twitter has banned the promotion of political ads from politicians and political parties. “Cause-based” ads will also be restricted and can not run until they’ve undergone a certification process.
The new policy comes as no surprise after the ongoing debate about the role social media played in the 2016 presidential election. Facebook, however, has stood behind its policy to allow unchecked political ads to run on their site. CEO Mark Zuckerberg denied the choice is financially motivated and told Congress in October that politicians have the right to free speech on Facebook.
President Trump’s campaign manager responded to Twitter’s new policy saying, “This is yet another attempt to silence conservatives, since Twitter knows President Trump has the most sophisticated online program ever.” He went on to call it a “very dumb decision.” Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign reacted to Twitter’s new policy as well. They called it “unfortunate” and did not agree with the company’s choice to completely ban political ads.
There will be some exceptions, that includes allowing political ads that encourage voter turnout. The company will also continue to allow politicians like President Trump to tweet their thoughts and opinions. The President currently has more than 67 million followers on Twitter who often share his tweets.
According to the Associated Press, Political advertising makes up just a small sliver of Twitter’s overall revenue. The company said political ad spending for the 2018 midterm election was less than $3 million. It reported $824 million in third-quarter revenue.
The new policy went into effect November 22nd.
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