Twitter announced that it would be relaxing its ban on political propaganda, a ban it had put in place for three years. This is the most recent change introduced by Elon Musk in his effort to increase the company’s revenue after acquiring the platform last year.
“We will be relaxing our policy for cause-based messaging in the US,” the company tweeted Tuesday night.
“We also plan to expand to political advertising in the coming weeks,” the company said on its account called Twitter Safety.
Twitter banned all political propaganda in 2019 in response to growing concerns about the spread of misinformation on social media.
On that occasion, then-CEO Jack Dorsey explained that while online advertising is powerful and effective for commercial advertisers, “that power carries significant risk in the field of politics, where it can be used to influence votes and affect the lives of millions of people.” can be done to.” people”.
Tuesday’s announcement appears to be a departure from policy that prohibits advertisements for candidates, political parties, or elected or appointed government officials.
Political advertising represented a small portion of Twitter’s total revenue, accounting for less than $3 million of total spending for the 2018 US midterm elections.
In announcing the relaxation of the ban, Twitter claimed that “cause-based messaging can facilitate public conversation about important issues” and that the change would align the platform’s advertising policy with “television and other media”. .
Facebook lifted its ban on ads on political and social issues in March 2021, which was implemented after the 2020 United States presidential election.
Musk promotes himself as a free speech advocate and one of the reasons he bought Twitter was apparently because he believed it was not living up to its potential as a free speech platform Was. However, the billionaire and Tesla CEO has been forced to undertake major cost-cutting and scramble to find more sources of revenue to justify the $44 billion acquisition.