Twitter Will No Longer Accept Political Ads, Says CEO

'While internet advertising is incredibly powerful, that power brings significant risks to politics'

Image of red X over a speech bubble with dollar signs on it next to a blue bird and a crowd of people
The announcement comes on the heels of political ads garnering criticism across all social platforms. - Credit by Getty Images

On Wednesday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey took to the platform to let politicians around the world know their money wasn’t good there anymore.

“We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally,” said Dorsey in a tweet thread.  “We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought.”

The announcement comes on the heels of political ads garnering criticism across all social platforms, for allowing politicians to spread less-than legitimate messages. Most recently, both Twitter and Facebook received strongly worded letters from presidential candidate Joe Biden about each platform’s refusal to take down a controversial attack ad about Biden’s son, Hunter.

Despite the oft-parroted claim that political revenue is a fraction of what Facebook makes off of ads, the company has since doubled down on its efforts to protect what passes in political paid media. For Twitter, it looks like the risks outweigh those rewards.

“A political message earns reach when people decide to follow an account or retweet. Paying for reach removes that decision, forcing highly optimized and targeted political messages on people,” Dorsey said. “We believe this decision should not be compromised by money.”

@swodinsky Shoshana Wodinsky is Adweek's platforms reporter, where she covers the financial and societal impacts of major social networks. She was previously a tech reporter for The Verge and NBC News.
Publish date: October 30, 2019 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT