Twitter said on Tuesday that it would begin relaxing its longstanding ban on political ads, allowing advocacy groups and elected officials to resume promotions focused on specific causes.

Twitter, which was acquired by Elon Musk in October, had banned some forms of political advertising in 2019. At the time, the company argued that political influence should be earned rather than bought, with politicians gaining audiences by drumming up genuine interest in what they had to say instead of using money to amplify their messages.

The change brings Twitter's policies closer to Meta Platform's (META.O) Facebook and Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O) YouTube, which allow political advertising. One platform that still bans political ads is Chinese video app TikTok.

"We believe that cause-based advertising can facilitate public conversation around important topics," the social media company tweeted.

According to this Twitter page, ads have certain restrictions; they are limited to geo, keyword, and interest targeting, for example, and shouldnt have the primary goal of driving political, judicial, legislative, or regulatory outcomes. But according to a bullet point added sometime Tuesday (it does not appear in this cached version from earlier in the day), advertisers whose cause-based ads target only within the United States are exempt from the above-listed restrictions.

Twitters ban on political ads was at odds with policies at Facebook and other major social media companies, which allow elected officials and candidates to purchase ads. The 2019 decision was met with an outcry from conservatives and liberals, who argued that the restrictions would hamper political campaigns and unfairly block some advocacy organizations from spreading their messages.

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