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Photo: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said Wednesday in a series of tweets that the tech giant will no longer accept political or advocacy advertising of any kind on its platform.

Why it matters: Tech companies have come under fire as of late for policies around how they police political ads. Facebook, most notably, has been criticized for saying that the company would not fact-check ads from political candidates or politicians.

Details: According to Dorsey, more specifics about the policy will be published by Twitter on Nov. 15. The policy will go into effect on Nov. 22.

Between the lines: In his tweets, Dorsey said the reasoning for the policy change is in part because Twitter acknowledges that a tech platform's unique ability to distribute ads in a highly targeted manner, and with easily tested and customizable messaging, is different than the advertising opportunity on broadcast TV — where networks are required by law to run ads from all political candidates, regardless of whether they lie in those ads.

  • "While internet advertising is incredibly powerful and very effective for commercial advertisers, that power brings significant risks to politics, where it can be used to influence votes to affect the lives of millions," Dorsey writes.
  • "A political message earns reach when people decide to follow an account or retweet. Paying for reach removes that decision, forcing highly optimized and targeted political messages on people," he adds. "We believe this decision should not be compromised by money."

Be smart: This is notable because Facebook has recently doubled down on its message that running ads that contain untruths from politicians on its platform is akin to running them on broadcast.

  • Facebook's Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg has also argued that the company accepts political ads because it wants to elevate free speech on its platform.

The big picture: As Axios has previously noted, absent strict government regulation of political ads across all media, the decision over how to manage those ads has been left to businesses. And while most firms have faced this dilemma for years, the hyper-political environment leading up to 2020 is shining a stronger spotlight on their decisions.

Our thought bubble: This is a big step for Twitter, and it may put pressure on other tech firms to follow suit.

  • Twitter has been careful to position itself as an antidote to Facebook when it comes to news and ads over the past week.
    • Last week, Dorsey hosted a #TwitterNewsSummit and said a publisher revenue-split is probably more sustainable for now than paying publishers — a direct jab at Facebook's new "News Tab," which will be spending millions to pay a collection of publishers.
    • Dorsey refused to say that Twitter "wasn't" a media company. He acknowledged that the company has used journalists to curate its "Moments" tab for a while.
    • He said of the news industry: “The thing I always respected about the Internet is that it’s slow, steady and deliberate, principled. It is not, move fast and break things.”
    • He noted that when you take away money from publishers "it can be very destructive" for them.
    • He added the policy conversation today "doesn’t have a distinction between paid and earned reach."

What they're saying:

“Twitter just walked away from hundreds of millions of dollars of potential revenue, a very dumb decision for their stockholders. Will Twitter also be stopping ads from biased liberal media outlets who will now run unchecked as they buy obvious political content meant to attack Republicans? This is yet another attempt to silence conservatives, since Twitter knows President Trump has the most sophisticated online program ever known.”
— Brad Parscale, Trump 2020 campaign manager

Go deeper: Political ads become 2020 flashpoint

Go deeper

Cuomo asks New York AG and chief judge to choose "independent" investigator into sexual harassment claims

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at a press conference on Feb. 24. Photo: Seth Wenig/pool/AFP via Getty Images

A special counselor to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a statement on Sunday asking the state's attorney general and chief judge to jointly pick an "independent and qualified lawyer in private practice without political affiliation" to investigate claims of sexual harassment against the governor.

The state of play: The statement is an about-face from Cuomo, who had previously selected a former judge close to a top aide to lead the investigation, the New York Times reported, a move that was widely criticized.

Republican Sen. Sasse slams Nebraska GOP for "weird worship" of Trump after state party rebuke

Sen. Ben Sasse, (R-Neb.) Photo: Andrew Harnik - Pool/Getty Images

The Nebraska Republican Party on Saturday formally "rebuked" Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) for his vote to impeach former President Trump earlier this year, though it stopped short of a formal censure, CNN reports.

Why it matters: Sasse is the latest among a slate of Republicans who have faced some sort of punishment from their state party apparatus after voting to impeach the former president. The senator responded statement Saturday, per the Omaha World-Herald, saying "most Nebraskans don't think politics should be about the weird worship of one dude."

Cuomo barraged by fellow Dems after second harassment accusation

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo faced a barrage of criticism from fellow Democrats after The New York Times reported that the second former aide in four days had accused him of sexual harassment.

Why it matters: Cuomo had faced a revolt from legislators for his handling of nursing-home deaths from COVID. Now, the scandal is acutely personal, with obviously grave political risk.