First, a correction…
In Friday’s Campaign Hot Tips I wrote that Facebook had banned political ads and that Twitter might follow. Got the two mixed up. It’s Twitter that’s banning political ads and Facebook that’s under pressure to follow suit.
Mea culpa. Don’t want to be accused of spreading “fake news.”
You should also know that on Friday Twitter began to flesh out the details its ban – and it’s not pretty. From Emily Stewart of Vox.com …
“Now comes the hard part of putting the ban in place. Twitter hasn’t proven itself to be hyper effective at addressing abusive behavior and offensive content on its platform in the past, and it’s bound to have missteps this time around, too. It’s already changed course on how it will approach issue ads, which it initially said it would ban but now will allow – with some qualifications.”
Twitter’s Vijaya Gadde admitted to reporters that the company still “has a lot of specifics to figure out, and that some areas will be subjective.” Not a good thing, especially for conservatives.
“Twitter’s view is that the reach of political messages should be earned, not bought, and advertising should not be used to drive political or regulatory outcomes.
“To that end, it will ban political content as of next week, defining that as ‘content that references a candidate, political party, elected or appointed government official, election, referendum, ballot measure, legislation, regulation, directive, or judicial outcome.’
“Ads containing political content, such as voting or fundraising appeals and ads that advocate for and against political content, are barred. Candidates, political parties, and elected or appointed government officials will not be allowed to run ads of any kind, and in the United States, that will apply to PACs, super PACs, and 501(c)(4)s as well.”
To be fair, Twitter does a fraction of the business that Facebook does when it comes to political advertising – and Facebook, for now, has resisted calls for it to follow Twitter’s lead. But if advertising on Twitter was part of your campaign plan, it’s time to update and change your plan.
Dr. Chuck Muth, PsD
THE CAMPAIGN DOCTOR
Professor of Psephology*
P.S. I guess now’s a good time to ask: Do you HAVE a written campaign plan?
Don’t feel bad if you don’t. It’s been my experience that most candidates, especially first-time candidates, have never even SEEN a written campaign plan, let alone drafted one.
If you’re in that boat, help is here. All new subscribers to my monthly Psephology Today newsletter automatically are entitled to 10 FREE bonus “Special Reports” – which include a done-for-you campaign plan template.
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* Psephology (see-follow-gee): The study of campaigns and elections