X/Twitter is to allow political advertising again in the reversal of a pre-Elon Musk policy.
The site banned all political advertising in 2019, with former CEO Jack Dorsey saying: “We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought.”
Now, under Musk’s ownership, advertising of this nature will return, with a “robust screening process”.
A statement read: “Building on our commitment to free expression, we are also going to allow political advertising.
“Starting in the U.S., we’ll continue to apply specific policies to paid-for promoted political posts. This will include prohibiting the promotion of false or misleading content, including false or misleading information intended to undermine public confidence in an election, while seeking to preserve free and open political discourse.
“We’ll also provide a global advertising transparency center so that everyone can review political posts being promoted on X, in addition to robust screening processes to ensure only eligible groups and campaigns are able to advertise.”
Specifically discussing elections, the post added: “X works to get in front of a range of tactics that people use to target the process. To do this we hire the right people, update our policies and evolve our product.”
In their 2019 announcement, Twitter said: “A political message earns reach when people decide to follow an account or retweet,” Dorsey continued. “Paying for reach removes that decision, forcing highly optimized and targeted political messages on people. We believe this decision should not be compromised by money.”
“While internet advertising is incredibly powerful and very effective for commercial advertisers, that power brings significant risks to politics, where it can be used to influence votes to affect the lives of millions.”
Elsewhere at X, Musk recently made the decision to remove the block function from the site.
“Block is going to be deleted as a ‘feature’, except for DMs,” the tech mogul posted on X this month. He added that he believes the function “makes no sense”.
Musk was supported publicly in the decision by Dorsey, who replied and said:“💯. mute only.”