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Musk’s X lifts ban on political ads, to allow US political candidates and parties advertise ahead of election

Elon Musk owned X (formerly Twitter) has lifted the ban on political ads and stated that it will allow US political candidates and parties advertise on the X platform ahead of the 2024 presidential election. “Building on our commitment to free expression, we are also going to allow political advertising. Starting in the US, we’ll continue to apply specific policies to paid-for promoted political posts,” X said through a blogpost on Tuesday.

X has lifted the ban on political ads but with a caveat. According to the blogpost, company will “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.”

The company also informed that it will also provide a global advertising transparency centre so that all can review political posts being promoted on X, apart from a robust screening processes to make absolutely sure that only eligible groups and campaigns get to advertise. X also added, “expanding our safety and elections teams to focus on combating manipulation, surfacing inauthentic accounts and closely monitoring the platform for emerging threats”.

Permitting political ads might also boost X’s ad business, which has plunged 50 per cent since Musk took over the company last year. Last week, former US president Donald Trump made a spectacular comeback on X after more than two years as he was banned in January 2021 by twitter post the US Capitol riots. After re-joining, Trump posted his first tweet on X with his police mugshot, saying: “Election interference, Never surrender”. Musk had responded with a quote post saying: “Next-level”.

Conclusion

Lifting of ban on political ads by twitter has brought its policies closer to that of Meta’s Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s YouTube. Both these platforms permit political advertising, Chinese video app TikTok still bans political ads though. There should be level playing ground and it is but natural that X would not like to lose revenues to its competitors. With US presidential elections impending, this was the most opportune time to lift ban on political ads. X can now vide for a share in the ad revenues emanating out of US presidential elections campaign. X is no more the platform that had banned the political ads in 2019, it has undergone a transformation. The transformation may have made it more attractive for political advertisers.

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