Twitter is relaxing its policy on political advertising. The US short message service will revise its policy for “advertising on social issues” in the United States and “align it with that of television and other media,” said the company of new owner Elon Musk.
Twitter banned political advertising in 2019 after the social media company and other services like Facebook were criticized for not comprehensively addressing election misinformation. The company then also restricted ads related to social causes.
Advertisers have been running away from Twitter since Musk took over in late October. They expressed concern over Musk’s plans to relax content moderation rules in the name of freedom of expression. The new step is also seen by observers as an attempt to increase advertising revenue. However, prior to the ban, political advertising accounted for only a fraction of advertising sales. In 2018 during the midterms in the United States, it was less than $3 million.
Critics warn that the platform could become a staging ground for hate speech, misinformation and conspiracy theories.