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Twitter, Google to restrict targeted political ads on platforms

Online platforms responding to criticism that tech giants, particularly Facebook, are not doing enough to curtail false claims in ads

Nov. 22, 2019
By Walt Williams

New restrictions on political advertising on Twitter and Google will deprive associations and other groups of two relatively easy means to target specific audiences with messaging, according to outside observers.

Twitter implemented a near-total ban on political ads on Nov. 22, or roughly three weeks after company CEO Jack Dorsey announced the policy in a series of tweets. The ban applies to most paid political content, although there is a potential loophole that allows organizations to use ads to raise awareness about issues as long as they don’t advocate a specific course of action.

Google, which also owns YouTube, announced Nov. 21 that it will no longer allow political ads in the U.S. to target users based on public voting records or political affiliations, bringing the policy in line with existing regulations in many other countries.