Twitter announced on Monday it will no longer accept advertising from state-controlled news media entities. The new rule is a global policy and will be enforced across all of Twitter’s ad business.

“This policy will apply to news media entities that are either financially or editorially controlled by the state,” wrote Twitter on its official company blog. The company said it will be making policy determinations based on media issues, such as, “Control of editorial content, financial ownership, influence or interference over broadcasters, editors, and journalists, direct and indirect exertion of political pressure, and/or control over the production and distribution process.”

The company said the policy does not apply to to state-owned news sites that are solely dedicated to entertainment, sports and travel content — unless, the site includes any news. If so, then it will be prohibited from running ads.

Why we should care

Twitter, along with most other social platforms, has been tightening its political ad policies during the past year as a result of foreign powers misusing social platforms to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election and other elections around the world.

This latest policy update is a substantial one for state-owned news sites, completely barring them from running ads. Social media marketers who work for state-owned sites will have to rely on organic posts for engagement, and won’t be able to ampliy their messages with promoted tweets.

State-owned sites that focus on entertainment, sports and travel will have to be wary of the news they publish as it may disqualify them from running Twitter ads.

More on the news

  • The new policy does not apply to taxpayer-funded entities, including public broadcasters.
  • Twitter is giving organizations impacted by the rule 30 days to stop running ads, after that, it says it will “Stringently enforce these policies.”
  • The company said it established the new policy with help from academic and civil society organizations, including Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index, Freedom House, the Economist Intelligence Unit Democracy Index, The European Journalism Centre’s Media Landscapes Report, the Committee to Protect Journalists and UNESCO.

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