Brands face new roadblocks on Twitter as it introduces updated ad policies

Twitter has potentially blocked out brands that promote policies and issues in latest ad update / Marten Bjork

Twitter announced new restrictions to its ad policies that restrict the publishing of sponsored political and issue tweets.

The social platform set these rules for the US only, in light of social media’s recent issues with the bad actors exploiting looser measures since the 2016 presidential campaign. After Twitter and Facebook announced restrictions to these types of ads earlier this summer, news organizations protested the decisions.

According to Axios, Twitter has lifted the policies for news organizations and journalists with 200,000 monthly unique visitors, exempting those with searchable archives and contact info available. Fringe and sensationalist organizations, as well as publishers of primarily UGC and advocates for single issues are not exempt.

These rules also can affect brands: a representative from Twitter confirmed to The Drum, “Brands will fall under the policy if they are promoting content that is specific to the policy.” Brands can become exempt, according to Twitter’s blog, but have been required to apply for certification to promote on a range of topics.

The ‘evolving’ list of what Twitter called "legislative issues of importance" include: abortion, civil rights, climate change, guns, healthcare, immigration, national security, social security, taxes, and trade.

Twitter also tested out a new feature recently, allowing certain users to receive a curated list of accounts to unfollow. Even though the feature hasn’t been confirmed as an update to the platform, Twitter refused to clarify the status of brands’ being impacted by this test.

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