Spotify to ban political ads in 2020

Spotify is to ban political ads in 2020 because it lacks the ability to identify and filter false information.

Spotify says it will ban political advertising in early 2020, becoming the latest tech company to do so on concerns over disinformation ahead of the upcoming US election.

The move by Spotify follows Twitter’s ban on most political ads and Google’s decision to limit how ads are targeted.

Spotify says it made the decision because it lacked the ability to identify and filter false information.

“Beginning in early 2020, Spotify will pause the selling of political advertising. This will include political advertising content in our ad-supported tier and in Spotify original and exclusive podcasts,” a spokesperson said in a statement..

“At this point in time, we do not yet have the necessary level of robustness in our processes, systems and tools to responsibly validate and review this content. We will reassess this decision as we continue to evolve our capabilities.”

Online platforms have come under pressure to clamp down on disinformation from politicians, including numerous false claims promoted by President Trump, ahead of the 2020 US elections.

Facebook has refused to implement any ban on political speech and ads, saying it should be up to the public and the press to fact-check false claims.

Google announced in November it would not allow political advertisers to use “microtargeting” which can be based on user browsing data, political affiliation or other factors, for its ads, including on YouTube.

Instead it will limit targeting to general categories such as age, gender or postal code location.

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