Twitter says it will ease a three-year-old ban on political advertising. This is the latest change by Elon Musk, who is looking to make money after purchasing the social media platform last year.
The company tweeted late Tuesday, saying it was “relaxing its advertising policy for cause-based advertising in the United States.”
“We also plan to expand the allowed political ads in the coming weeks,” the company said from its Twitter safety account.
Twitter banned all political ads in 2019.
At the time, then-CEO Jack Dorsey said that while internet advertising is powerful and effective for commercial advertisers, “that power poses significant risks to politics. We can impact the lives of millions of people.”
The latest move appears to represent a departure from that policy, which banned advertising by candidates, political parties, or elected or appointed government officials.
Political ads make up a small portion of Twitter’s overall revenue, accounting for less than $3 million in total spending for the 2018 US midterm elections.
By revoking the ban, Twitter said that “cause-based advertising can foster public conversation about important topics,” and the change would change the platform’s advertising policy to that of “television and other media outlets.” It said it would be consistent with policy, but didn’t provide any details.
In March 2021, Facebook lifted a ban on ads about political and social issues introduced after the 2020 US presidential election.
Musk describes himself as a free speech fighter and bought Twitter because he believed it was not living up to its potential as a free speech platform. But the billionaire Tesla CEO was forced to cut costs drastically and scrambled to find more revenue streams to justify his $44 billion purchase.