On Wednesday, Twitter announced that it would ban all political advertising on the platform next month, a move President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign is calling “a very dumb decision.”
Twitter’s move to ban all political ads comes after weeks of lawmakers berating Facebook over its own policy that allows politicians to lie in ads. Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign was the first to take issue with the policy, penning letters to Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube demanding that they ban ads that contain false or misleading information. Those letters were prompted by false ads placed by the Trump campaign.
In its statement, Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale alleged that Twitter’s new political ads ban could hurt Republicans more than Democrats, harkening back to the party’s baseless theory that conservative speech is censored more on social media.
“Twitter just walked away from hundreds of millions of dollars of potential revenue, a very dumb decision for their stockholders,” Parscale said in a statement. “Will Twitter also be stopping ads from biased liberal media outlets who will now run unchecked as they buy obvious political content meant to attack Republicans? This is yet another attempt to silence conservatives, since Twitter knows President Trump has the most sophisticated online program ever known.”
Twitter’s actual revenue from campaign advertising is significantly smaller than Parscale’s figure, coming it at less than $1 million in recent cycles.
Democrats were broadly supportive of Twitter’s decision, even urging Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg to follow suit.
“Mark Zuckerberg has said he doesn’t want the responsibility of blocking false political ads,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) said in a tweet. “If that’s really the case, and not a desperate attempt to placate the far-right, Facebook should follow Twitter’s lead and stop running political ads on its site altogether.”