In 2018, the Federal Election Commission struggled to craft new rules for online political ads. The state of Washington passed a law that mandates real-time disclosure of election ad information. It scared Microsoft off and they banned political advertising on LinkedIn and Bing.
In early October 2019, TikTok, the fastest growing social network, revealed they wouldn't run political ads either. The coolest kid on the block forced incumbents to react and refine their political ad policies.
Here's where things stand today (updated Jan 1, 2020):
|Allows pol. ads||Allows lying||Reviews pol. ads||Micro-targetting|
You can read what each player believes in their own words below, in chronological order.
Not worth the hassle, and they didn’t make much money from it anyway.
The currently coolest social network declares it’s too fun for politics.
A couple of weeks after TikTok’s announcement, Facebook’s CEO gave a talk about free speech at Georgetown university.
A former high-ranking Facebook employee explained it best: “Facebook is so pissed that TikTok is the one thing they can't beat that they've turned to geopolitical arguments and lawmakers in Washington to fight their fight.”
In response to Zuckerberg’s speech, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey explains in a series of tweets that the company will not allow political advertising anymore.
As a smaller platform, Snap announces that it will allow political ads but it will review them. Google will limit targeting and reserves the right to remove ads containing lies.
Lying about the census, like voter suppression, crosses the line for Facebook
Political ads are just not worth the hassle for some