Twitter announced on Wednesday it would ban political advertising globally on its platform, responding to growing criticism over misinformation from politicians on social media.
Chief executive Jack Dorsey said in a tweet that 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.
The move comes with Facebook under pressure to apply fact-checking to politicians running ads with debunked claims.
Dorsey said the new policy, details of which will be unveiled next month and enforced from Nov 22, would ban ads on political issues as well as from candidates.
We considered stopping only candidate ads, but issue ads present a way to circumvent, he said.
Additionally, it isn't fair for everyone but candidates to buy ads for issues they want to push. So we're stopping these too.
Dorsey said the company took the action to head off potential problems from machine learning-based optimization of messaging and micro-targeting, unchecked misleading information, and deep fakes.
Twitter's move comes in contrast to the Facebook policy that allows political speech and ads to run without fact-checking on the leading social network.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said political advertising is not a major source of revenue but that he believes it is important to allow everyone a voice, and that banning political ads would favor incumbents.
Dorsey said he disagreed with Zuckerberg's assessment that stopping ads would favor incumbents. We have witnessed many social movements reach massive scale without any political advertising. I trust this will only grow, he said.
Social media platforms have been challenged by President Donald Trump's campaign's use of ads that contain claims critics say have been debunked by independent fact-checkers.
Democrats have stepped up pressure on Facebook to remove the ads, and a group of Facebook employees has also called for stronger efforts to clamp down on civic misinformation from politicians.