Twitter bans political advertising

Twitter bans politically themed ads. A historic decision and one that could lead to big changes

Stop paid propaganda on Twitter: by the end of November it will not be possible to sponsor a post with political content on the social globally. This was announced in a long series of tweets by Jack Dorsey, founder and CEO of Twitter.

The ban, as Vijaya Gadde (head of Twitter's legal department) later explained, will affect advertisements that refer to an election cycle, a candidate or that promote or criticize a political issue of national importance. Such as, for example, climate change, public health, immigration, national security and taxes. Twitter had initially considered blocking only ads for election candidates, but the ban would have been too easy to circumvent.

Twitter bans political advertising: here's why

Dorsey detailed why the decision was made: "A political message spreads when people decide to follow the account or retweet. Paying for outreach overrides these user decisions by forcing users to see highly optimized and targeted political ads. We believe the decision to see a message should not be influenced by money." Then Dorsey points out that advertising for political messages "brings serious risks to politics, because it can be used to influence voting and affect the lives of millions of people."

Criticism of Twitter

Shortly after the ban on paid political communication was announced, Twitter lost 2% of its value on the stock market. The reactions of users to this decision are mixed: many believe that it is a good thing, especially in order to put a brake on the recent boom of political fake news that find their ideal amplifier on social networks. Others believe that the ban is too strict: prohibiting the sponsorship of messages on civil rights, global warming and similar issues could greatly limit the audience reached by historical associations for the protection of rights or the environment.

The various Greenpeace, WWF and the like, for example, from the end of November will no longer be able to sponsor virtually any of their tweets. There are also those who see this choice as a completely political move: Brad Parscale, Donald Trump's 2020 campaign manager, commented bluntly saying that "Twitter banning political ads is another attempt by the left to silence Trump and conservatives. I wouldn't be surprised if Twitter suspended the ban after 2020."