Spotify will suspend political advertising in 2020. In a statement to Marketing, a Spotify spokesperson said the company currently does not have the relevant and necessary tools and systems to review political content, and will reassess the suspension as its processes evolve. This comes hot on the heels of the US presidential election.
The music streaming platform joins the likes of TikTok, Twitter and Facebook in enforcing political ad ban. ByteDance-owned TikTok announced in October 2019 that it will not allow political ads on its platform. In a blog post, Blake Chandlee, vice president of global business solutions, TikTok explained that any paid ads that come into the community need to fit the standards for its platform, and the nature of paid political ads does not fit the TikTok platform experience. In a statement to Marketing then, a TikTok spokesperson said the platform has put in place protective measures by combining content moderation technology with a human moderation team to ensure political content and all content of sexual, derogatory or inflammatory nature is removed.
This decision comes in line with social platforms tightening its stance on ads and content around the elections. Facebook enforced transparency ad tools on its policy on ads about social issues, elections and politics in Singapore last year as well. The tools require advertisers to be authorised and place “Paid for by” disclaimers on their ads, to bring greater transparency and authenticity to advertising, as well as reduce the spread of misinformation and prevent foreign interference in elections.
Meanwhile, Twitter requires advertisers promoting political campaigning content to undergo a certification process. Earlier in 2019, the microblogging company released a statement that it will build operational and tooling support to expand its political advertising policies globally.
Similarly, Snapchat too imposed transparency in its political ads policy. According to Snapchat, all political advertising must include a “paid for by” message in the ad that is followed by the name of the paying person or entity, and should not be misleading, violates the publicity, privacy, copyright, or other intellectual property rights of a third party, and feature graphic violence.