The Company tweeted late Tuesday that “We are relaxing our ad policy for cause-based ads in the US”.
Twitter banned all political advertising in 2019, reacting to growing concern about misinformation spreading on social media. At the time, CEO Jack Dorsey said that while internet ads are powerful and effective for commercial advertisers, ‘this power can influence votes to affect the people and also risks to politics’.
The latest move appears to represent a break from that policy, which had banned ads by candidates, political parties and elected or appointed government officials.
Many have panicked about reversing the political ads ban can bring deep fakes and misinformation.
Why were political ads banned in 2019?
Twitter’s Co-founder decided to ban political advertisements on Twitter not to lead to deep fakes and misinformation during the 2019 election. Dorsey had banned both candidate-based ads as well as issue-based ads, barring a few exceptions like voter registration campaigns.
During the announcement, he tweeted “We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought”.
Why Elon Musk’s reverse ban on political ads?
Notably, since Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, the platform has reportedly lost its top 100 advertisers including Chevrolet, Ford, Jeep, fast food chain Chipotle, and United Airlines.
While this creates a bigger dent in the coffer of the former richest man on Earth, Elon Musk, who also invested a whopping $44 billion, this also triggers the need to generate more revenue. Akin to loss of revenue, the Chief Twit Elon Musk had last month started a poll to understand the consensus in his helming the micro-blogging platform.
Last month, Musk defended his deep cost-cutting measures and said Twitter had been facing a “negative cash flow” of $3 billion next year.
May this lead to the return of misinformation?
Empirical understanding states that Elon Musk’s inconsistent and hurried change in policies for the microblogging platform has more often than not backfired causing more than ever chaos on Twitter. Political advertisers are more likely to fill the void left by corporate advertisers ahead of the 2024 election cycle.
However, considering the increasing attention paid to the influence of social media on the evolution of the political debate, it will be worth observing if Musk’s latest policy keeps him and the company afloat or if this is just another step in the highway for complete obliteration.
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