• Thursday, June 20, 2024
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Elon Musk ends political ads ban on X platform

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Elon Musk announced on Tuesday the removal of a ban on political advertisements that had been implemented on Twitter, now rebranded as X, as a measure to combat misinformation prior to his acquisition of the platform.

This decision marks the return of potentially misleading political messages to X, occurring less than a week after former President Donald Trump made his first post on the platform since January 2021.

Trump’s return to the platform was symbolised by his posting of a police mugshot taken during his arrest in Georgia, signalling his comeback to a platform that had served as his primary communication channel throughout his tenure in the White House.

This marked Trump’s first post since several days following the tumultuous events of the U.S. Capitol insurrection, where a furious mob of his supporters attempted to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden as president.

Trump had been permanently suspended by Twitter shortly after the January 6th riot, with the platform citing violations of its policy against glorifying violence as he continued to assert false claims of election fraud.

Having acquired the platform in the previous year, Elon Musk reinstated the former president in November 2022. However, Trump had chosen to communicate with his followers through his own platform, Truth Social, albeit with a considerably smaller audience.

Read also:Elon Musk’s X introduces paywalls to TweetDeck

In a blog post, X explained that the decision to allow political ads, initially in the United States, was in line with their commitment to promoting free expression.

The platform emphasised its policies prohibiting the promotion of false or misleading information, particularly spurious claims aimed at undermining public confidence in the electoral process.

Trump’s recent post, featuring his mugshot, came with a caption that read, “Election interference.”
Notably, a judge had set March 4, 2024, as the trial date for Trump’s alleged involvement in an election subversion conspiracy, positioning this case as one of the most significant criminal trials in American history amidst the upcoming White House race.

Read also:Why Elon Musk is sharing ads revenue with content creators

X also revealed its plans to expand its safety and election teams to combat manipulation on the platform and provide an online center for the review of political ads.

Concerns had previously arisen about X’s capacity to moderate content and maintain reliable functionality following Musk’s staff reductions after acquiring Twitter.

Furthermore, X stated its intention to update its Civic Integrity Policy to safeguard elections against content aimed at intimidating or deceiving voters while adhering to Musk’s philosophy of prioritising open expression.

The platform asserted that it should not be the arbiter of truth in cases of disputed information but should instead empower users to express their opinions and engage in open debate during elections, consistent with its commitment to protecting freedom of expression.

“X shouldn’t determine the truthfulness of disputed information,” the platform said in the blog post.
“Rather, we should empower our users to express their opinions and openly debate during elections, in line with our commitment to protecting freedom of expression.”