SAN FRANCISCO — Twitter announced Tuesday that it will begin easing its long-running ban on political advertising, allowing advocacy groups and elected officials to resume cause-focused promotions.
Twitter, which was acquired by Elon Musk in October, banned some forms of political advertising in 2019. Instead of using money to amplify the message, it had to be said.
Musk has said one of his goals in buying Twitter is to relax rules about what types of content are allowed on the platform. The billionaire’s approach to content moderation has taken major brands by surprise, with some even pausing their spending on Twitter to prevent ads from appearing alongside controversial tweets. Twitter’s revenue dropped significantly.
Twitter announced Tuesday it will begin allowing cause-based advertising, which allows marketers to promote content about political issues. The company said it would later expand to other forms of political advertising. Under its previous controls, Twitter allowed purpose-based advertising with some restrictions, including prohibiting advertisers from using micro-targeting to reach specific groups of people.
“We believe cause-based advertising can drive public conversations about important topics,” the company tweeted. “Going forward, we will align our advertising policies with those of television and other media.”
The move could allow Twitter to make more money as it tries to lure advertisers back to the platform. There are no national elections scheduled in the United States this year.
Twitter’s ban on political advertising contradicted policies of Facebook and other major social media companies that allow elected officials and candidates to buy ads. The 2019 decision was met with protests from conservatives and liberals, who claimed the restrictions would hamper political campaigns and unfairly block some advocacy groups from spreading their message.