Political campaigns are increasingly shifting their ad focus to online platforms and social media. According to a poll created by Borrell Associates and cited by the Wall Street Journal, 2020 presidential candidates were projected to spend $2.90 billion on digital and online ads. In 2016, presidential candidates spent $1.40 billion and in 2012 presidential candidates spent $0.16 billion.
When it comes to political ads, Twitter and Facebook are taking different approaches. While Facebook will continue to post political ads, Twitter said on October 30 they would stop accepting political and issue ads starting November 22.
Twitter isn’t alone. Social media platforms like Pinterest Inc., Twitch and the video-sharing app TikTok have rules that prohibit political advertising.
Still, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended the company’s decision. “Google, YouTube and most internet platforms run these same ads, most cable networks run these same ads, and of course national broadcasters are required by law to run them by FCC regulations,” Zuckerberg wrote in an October 30 Facebook post. “Would we really block ads for important political issues like climate change or women’s empowerment?”