X will allow political ads from candidates, parties ahead of US election

Aug 29 (Reuters) – X, the social media company formerly known as Twitter, said Tuesday it would now allow political advertising in the U.S. from candidates and political parties and expand its safety and elections team ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

Before billionaire Elon Musk acquired the company in October, Twitter had banned all political ads globally since 2019. In January, Twitter lifted the ban and began allowing “cause-based ads” in the U.S. that raise awareness of issues such as voter registration, and said it planned to expand the types of political ads it would allow on the platform.

The move to allow all political ads in the U.S. could help X grow its revenue at a time when many advertisers have fled or reduced spending on the platform for fear of appearing next to inappropriate content.

‘X’ logo is seen on the top of the headquarters of the messaging platform X, formerly known as Twitter, in downtown San Francisco, California, U.S., July 30, 2023. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights

In a blog post on Tuesday, X said it would grow its teams to combat content manipulation and “emerging threats”.

The company said it would create a global advertising transparency center, which would let users see what political ads were being promoted on X, and added it would continue to prohibit political ads that spread false information or seek to undermine public confidence in an election.

The platform, like other social media companies, has long been criticized by researchers and lawmakers for not doing enough to prevent misleading or false content during major elections.

Since Musk’s acquisition, X in particular has faced questions about its readiness for the U.S. presidential election after laying off thousands of employees, including those who had worked on the trust and safety team.

Reporting by Sheila Dang in Dallas; Editing by Alex Richardson

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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