Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted Wednesday that the site will restrict all political ads. The decision, which doesn’t arrive to represent a major financial sacrifice for Twitter, hastily bring reactions from politicians, including criticism from President Donald Trump’s campaign and admire from Joe Biden.
Twitter Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey tweeted Wednesday that the site will restrict all political ads, distributing a jab to Facebook Inc., which has come under fire for the way it’s managed advertising by candidates.
“We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought,” Dorsey wrote on Twitter.
The decision, which doesn’t arrive to represent a major financial sacrifice for Twitter, hastily bring reactions from politicians, including criticism from President Donald Trump’s campaign and admire from Joe Biden, a dominant 2020 Democratic presidential candidate who has been adressed in ads by the Trump campaign.
Twitter’s action is likely to have little impact on the way campaigns are run, said Jessica Alter, the co-founder and chair for Tech for Campaigns, an organization that works with Democrats. Alter said candidates don’t view Twitter as a especially important platform for advertising. “Twitter is for if you have extra money or if you want to get to pundits,” she said.
Twitter plans to publish a new political ads policy edging the change in a few weeks, which will be imposed globally and go into effect Nov. 22.
Twitter shares fell as much as 4% to $28.63 in post-market dealing in New York before paring the loss to about 1.9%. The stock had gained 3.9% this year through Wednesday.
Twitter said during an earnings call last week that political ads performed less than $3 million in credit during the 2018 midterm elections. By contrast, Trump alone spent almost $5 million on Facebook advertising in the four weeks leading up to Oct. 19, according to an inquiry by the media agency Bully Pulpit Interactive.
Overall, campaigns spent $950 million online in 2018, closely four times what they capsuled out during the 2014 midterms, according to Kantar Media, an analysis firm that train in election ads. Kantar projects that total online spending on political ads for 2019-2020 federal campaigns will touch $1.2 billion.
Twitter’s announcement came about an hour before Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg conveyed an excited defense of Facebook’s policy of not fact-checking ads from politicians on the company’s earnings call Wednesday. He said the company has thought attentively about the issue and is taking a stance on principle, noting that political ads will make up just 0.5% of credit next year.
“I think that this is going to be a very tough year,” he said on the call. “We try to do what we think is right but we’re not going to get everything right.”