Twitter and Spotify Enter the Minefield of Banning Political Ads


Twitter and Spotify announced in 2019 that they would ban political ads on their respective platforms. This comes in the wake of the 2016 Russian attacks on the US election, in which Facebook was directly linked to political ads that help President Trump win the election according to the Mueller report. Now, both Twitter and Spotify face the difficulties that will be involved in putting this ban into place. The moves come in the wake of issues related to comments from Facebook that they will not fact check ads placed on their platform.

Twitter and Political Adds

Twitter now faces the task of implementing the new policy  and dealing with the inevitable protests and unanswered questions that arrive in this process. In November of 2019 Twitter unveiled the first iteration of its new policies surrounding political advertisements on its platform. CEO Jack Dorsey announced on Twitter that his firm would ban political ads. The announcement was widely praised, but it also brought a lot of questions regarding the details of how the policy will look. The new policy is an outline of but still has plenty of details that need to be filled in. Twitter began enforcing its guidance on November 22, 2019 with many open questions.

While the announcement was a public relations win, there are some revenue consequences, but these appear to be miner. According to the Washington Post, during the mid-term elections in the United States, Twitter made 3-million in revenue on a total of 3-billion for the year. This was worse the positive feedback the company received in the wake of the public outcry over Facebook’s policy against fact-checking ads from politicians. Shares of Twitter have been volatile during the Q4 of 2019, which provides a good opportunity to trade the shares on the best online trading app 2019.

Spotify is Also on the Hotseat


At the end of 2019, Spotify announced that the company would pause sales of political advertisements on its music streaming platform in early 2020. The platform has approximately 141 million users which provides them with an excellent opportunity to advertise directly to users. The pause is expected to extend to Spotify original and exclusive podcasts as well. According to the Reuters, Spotify has yet to describe the revenue hit the company will experience from banning political adds on its platform.

The new policy will cover both political groups such as candidates for office, elected and appointed officials, political parties, political action committees, as well as content that advocates for or against those entities. In addition to banning ads for political executives such as the President, Spotify will also not sell ads that advocate for legislative and judicial outcomes. Spotify would not fact check advertisements that are imbedded in third party content. It will only ban political adds that are considered Spotify’s ad sales.