SAN FRANCISCO — Twitter, whose reputation has suffered from the proliferation of politics and propaganda on the platform, has launched a search for a PR firm to handle its consumer business in North America in advance of the 2020 election season, the Holmes Report has learned.

A Twitter spokesperson confirmed to the Holmes Report that the consumer PR agency review is underway, but declined to provide further details. It is understood, however, that the search team is currently in midst of hearing pitches from a handful of finalists vying for the high-profile account.

Since its founding in 2006, the social giant has worked with an array of communications agencies in furthering its reach including M Booth, Mighty,  Praytell and Edelman. Twitter, however, also has a robust in-house communications operation, forgoing agency support at seminal times in its evolution — notably at its 2013 IPO.

The current PR agency search comes on the heels of relatively good news from the platform, which in July reported reaching an average of 139m monetizable daily active users in the second quarter of 2019 — a 14% increase year over year. The company, however, only started reporting its daily users figures this year, following drops in the number of monthly users for three consecutive quarters. 

All of which comes while Twitter braces for the public and regulatory scrutiny that is bound to grow with presidential election politics, given the spread of fake news, and Russian propaganda in particular, on social media during the 2016 election. The widespread use of Twitter for political and ideological wrangling has also seen opponents assail the network as a harbor for hate and anger.