Political Content in the United States

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Political advertising in the U.S. has additional requirements and restrictions. Political content includes issue ads and federal political campaigning ads.

Political Content in the U.S. may only be promoted via the use of Promoted Tweets and In-Stream Video Ads; no other Twitter advertising products can be used at this time.

Issue Ads

Policy

This policy applies to issue ads which consist of the following:

  • Ads that refer to an election or a clearly identified candidate, or
  • Ads that advocate for legislative issues of national importance.

A clearly identified candidate refers to any candidate running for federal, state, or local election.  

Examples of legislative issues of national importance include but are not limited to: abortion, healthcare, guns, climate change, immigration, taxes.

Requirements

Issue advertisers must go through Twitter’s certification process and meet the following requirements:

  • Profile photo, header photo, and website must be consistent with the handle’s online presence.
  • Bio must include a website that provides valid contact info.
  • If handle name is not related to the certified entity, the bio must include the following disclaimer: "Owned by [certified entity name]"

All issue ads must use a “Paid for by” disclaimer.

Restrictions

State-owned media or state authorities are prohibited from buying political ads outside of the country in which they are located.

State-owned media means entities financed and/or controlled by state or government authorities.

State authorities means government bodies and institutions.

Exemption

Advertisements promoted by news publishers will not be identified as “Issue Ads” under this policy. News publishers must self-identify and meet the following criteria for this exemption to apply:

  • The publication’s website must have a minimum of 200,000 monthly unique visitors in the United States.
  • Contact information is available online.
  • ‘About’ information is available online.
  • Dedicated reporter/editorial staff information is available online.
  • The publication has a searchable archive available online.
  • The publication is not primarily a user-generated or aggregated content platform.
  • The publication is not dedicated to advocating on a single issue.

News publishers may submit @handles for affiliated reporters and journalists if they meet the following requirements:

  • Profile includes the journalist’s name.
  • Bio discloses affiliation to news publisher and links to the publication’s website.
  • Bio states they are a reporter/journalist.
  • Reporter/journalist must be listed in their parent org website.

Advertisements promoted by single-issue news publishers will be identified as “Issue Ads”.

News publishers remain subject to Twitter Ads Policies, including the Political Content policy.  

An organization’s status as a “news publisher” is based solely on the criteria described in this policy, and does not constitute an endorsement by Twitter of the views espoused by that organization.

Federal Political Campaigning Ads

Federal political campaigning ads have additional restrictions.

Political campaigning ads refers to ads that fall under any of the criteria listed below:

  • Ads purchased by a political committee or candidate registered with the Federal Election Commission (FEC); or
  • Ads that advocate for or against a clearly identified candidate for Federal office.

Restrictions

Foreign nationals are prohibited from targeting political advertisements to the U.S.

All federal political campaigning ads must use “Paid for by” and “Authorized /not authorized” disclaimers.

Note that there is a separate certification process for federal political advertisers.

Resources


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