Spotify to pause the selling of political advertising

Music streaming service Spotify has announced that it will pause its political advertising sales starting early next year, as tech companies have grappled with how to handle political advertising on their platforms. 

“Beginning in early 2020, Spotify will pause the selling of political advertising,” a Spotify official told The Hill in an email Friday. “This will include political advertising content in our ad-supported tier and in Spotify original and exclusive podcasts.”

The person said the decision was made because the company doesn’t yet have “the necessary level of robustness in our processes, systems and tools to responsibly validate and review this content.”

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“We will reassess this decision as we continue to evolve our capabilities,” the official added. 

The decision follows Facebook’s public battle with progressives over its policy against removing political ads containing misinformation.  

Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergWorld’s richest 500 people saw their wealth jump 25 percent in 2019 Spotify to pause the selling of political advertising Hillicon Valley: Election security funding gets mixed response | Facebook tests community fact checking | Lawmakers look to block Chinese pick for IP organization | Secret court judge rebukes FBI over surveillance warrants MORE has argued that it is a free speech issue and has said that users “should be able to judge for themselves.”

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWorld’s richest 500 people saw their wealth jump 25 percent in 2019 Spotify to pause the selling of political advertising Poll: Most Democrats prize shared values over electability MORE (D-Mass.) has been one vocal critic of the decision, accusing the platform of helping President TrumpDonald John TrumpLA Times editorial board torches Trump on climate Spotify to pause the selling of political advertising Fed study: Trump tariffs backfired, caused job losses and higher prices MORE “spread lies and misinformation.”

After that feud, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced in October that his platform will no longer run ads promoting political candidates or issues. 

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Emily Birnbaum contributed

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