The influence of social media on elections goes far and that is why there has been discussion about facilitating political messages for money. Or buy real youtube views and likes for more political discussions.

We believe you should earn the reach of political messages, not buy,” wrote Twitter chief Jack Dorsey in a series of tweets yesterday. According to him, the power of political internet advertisements entails responsibility because they are “used to win votes and influence the lives of millions of people.” And that is why Twitter decided to stop using political advertisements on 22 November.

More Transparency

Facebook wants to take away the worries about political ads via social media with the so-called Ad Library, which has been publicly available since March 2019. Although historical data is lacking, it can be concluded that, for example, the VVD has since spent 26,122 euros on Facebook advertisements.

Google has also been offering a glimpse into the wonderful world of political advertisements since March 20, which shows that in the Netherlands so far a modest 82,000 euros has been earned with a total of 1,490 advertisements.

A spokesperson for Facebook emphasizes to RTL Z that political advertisements are ‘a minimal source of income’ for the company. Without mentioning any amounts, according to Facebook, it is estimated that ‘less than 0.5 percent of the total annual turnover of the coming year’.

On the basis of the most recent annual figures (for 2018), when Facebook booked a total turnover of 55.8 billion dollars, it would still be a sloppy 279 million euros. And where Facebook’s revenue is increasing year after year, that amount would almost certainly increase further in 2020. Certainly, since the US presidential election will be held in November 2020.

What about Twitter itself? The only known figures are about the 2018 US mid-term elections. According to the company, less than $ 3 million was paid for political ads on Twitter, something the financial chief emphasized yesterday. That’s about 0.1 percent of Twitter’s annual revenue, which last year was $ 3 billion.

Serious Business

Google and especially Facebook are currently popular advertising platforms for politicians. Although Google, as the parent company of YouTube, does not specify such advertisements per platform. But to give you a glimpse: the US presidential candidates for 2020 have so far spent $ 23.3 million on Google, and $ 46.7 million on Facebook, according to recent data from non-profit organization Acronym.