Twitter Goes Against Its Own Rules with New Advertising Policy: Elon Musk Lifts Restrictions on Political Ads

Twitter has revealed plans to expand the types of political advertisements permitted on its platform, seemingly reversing its 2019 global ban on such ads as it aims to increase revenue.   

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Twitter's New Ad Policy

Illustration: Milica Mijajlovic

Twitter has revealed plans to expand the types of political advertisements permitted on its platform, seemingly reversing its 2019 global ban on such ads as it aims to increase revenue.   

In a tweet, the social media giant also announced that it will relax its “cause-based ads” advertising policy in the US, aligning its policy with those of TV and other media outlets.   

In 2019, Twitter imposed a ban on political ads and restricted ads related to social causes following widespread criticism for permitting the spread of election misinformation on its services.   

Twitter then and now 

Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s then-CEO, tweeted at the time, “We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought.”   

Since Elon Musk took over as CEO in October, corporate advertisers have reportedly abandoned the platform due to Musk’s actions, including the laying off of thousands of employees, the reversal of the permanent suspension of former President Donald Trump, and the swift implementation of a paid verification feature that resulted in scammers pretending to be publicly-listed companies on Twitter.  

Musk’s resolution for 2023.

Twitter Safety announced in a tweet on Tuesday evening that it will be relaxing its advertising policy for “cause-based ads” in the United States, stating, “We believe that cause-based advertising can facilitate a public conversation around important topics.”  

This move by CEO Elon Musk reverses a policy implemented by former CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey, who banned all political ads in November 2019, stating in a Twitter thread that was paying for political reach “has significant ramifications that today’s democratic infrastructure may not be prepared to handle.”  

Twitter has made a sudden change to its advertising policies, lifting restrictions on “cause-based” ads that seek to mobilize people around issues such as social inequality and economic growth. These ads, which are targeted at users in the US, will now be able to use political terms such as “conservative” and “liberal” without facing a ban. This shift in policy demonstrates Twitter’s commitment to facilitating public conversation around important topics. 

Free digital mind. When the vision is clear, strategy is easy!