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

X will allow political ads from candidates, parties ahead of US election
'X' logo is seen on the top of the headquarters of the messaging platform X, formerly known as Twitter, in downtown San Francisco, California, US, July 30, 2023.
PHOTO: Reuters file

X, the social media company formerly known as Twitter, said Tuesday (Aug 29) it would now allow political advertising in the US 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 US 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 US 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.

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 centre, 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 criticised 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 US presidential election after laying off thousands of employees, including those who had worked on the trust and safety team.

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