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1/ Yesterday, Twitter’s @Jack announced that it was moving to ban political advertising here on the platform.

It’s a striking announcement, to be sure, but there’s a (much) bigger picture.

A few things to keep in mind, via @ProPublica’s @DerekWillis:
@jack @derekwillis 2/ First: political advertisers spend *exponentially* more on FB than Twitter.

For the 2018 election cycle, political ad spending on….

FB 👉 $16,543,733*
Twitter 👉 $299,371*

(*both figures are undercounts b/c they don’t include spending via consultants)
@jack @derekwillis 3/ 2nd:

This move won’t seriously impact the strategies of most well-funded campaigns, like @realDonaldTrump, @BernieSanders, etc

While politicians seem to ❤️Twitter, campaign spending on platform is small compared to YouTube + FB, neither of which has announced similar plans.
@jack @derekwillis @realDonaldTrump @BernieSanders 4/ (A ban on political ads on Twitter also will have no effect on posts by campaigns and interest groups, just paid efforts to extend their reach.)
@jack @derekwillis @realDonaldTrump @BernieSanders 5/ So while Trump’s campaign manager says Twitter is “walking away from hundreds of millions of dollars,” it’s important to note that campaigns haven’t spent anywhere near that level on the platform.

@jack @derekwillis @realDonaldTrump @BernieSanders 6/ Third:

Political ads are only a tiny fraction of the revenue collected by social media giants like @Twitter and @Facebook.

Twitter says political ads made up $3 million in 2018.

But that year the company brought in $3 BILLION.

You do the math.
@jack @derekwillis @realDonaldTrump @BernieSanders @Twitter @facebook 7/ But: The question that a ban on political ads raises is deceptively simple:

“What is a political ad?”

@Jack says the ban will have some exceptions. How Twitter defines that line could have an impact on attempts to regulate ads across the Internet.

@jack @derekwillis @realDonaldTrump @BernieSanders @Twitter @facebook 8/ We’ll just have to wait and see.

In the meantime…

Keep up w/ our FEC campaign finance tracker 👉propub.li/2JEVm8a

And sign up to get our next investigation 👉propub.li/2LdoRh6
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