In an announcement made by the company CEO Jack Dorsey on Wednesday, Micro Blogging social media platform Twitter will stop accepting political advertisements starting from November 22. The company’s decision comes after weeks of Facebook stumbling over the same issue. The Twitter CEO announced the move in a series of Tweets. He claimed that internet advertising was effective for commercial advertisers. However, the same kind of advertising held significant risks when it came to politics, as it could be used to influence the audience.
Dorsey believes that the reach of political messages “should be earned, not bought.” He said online political ads present challenges to civic discourse, as they include videos that are manipulated and information that has not always been verified or fact-checked, and which can be misleading. He further added that this happens “all at increasing velocity, sophistication, and overwhelming scale.” He added that he worried that political advertising on the internet “has significant ramifications that today’s democratic infrastructure may not be prepared to handle.”
We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought. Why? A few reasons…🧵— jack 🌍🌏🌎 (@jack) October 30, 2019
While internet advertising is incredibly powerful and very effective for commercial advertisers, that power brings significant risks to politics, where it can be used to influence votes to affect the lives of millions.— jack 🌍🌏🌎 (@jack) October 30, 2019
Internet political ads present entirely new challenges to civic discourse: machine learning-based optimization of messaging and micro-targeting, unchecked misleading information, and deep fakes. All at increasing velocity, sophistication, and overwhelming scale.— jack 🌍🌏🌎 (@jack) October 30, 2019
Acknowledging the fact that the Micro-Blogging platform is a small part of the larger political advertising ecosystem, he pressed upon the need to have more forward-looking political ad regulation. Dorsey has announced that Twitter will share the final policy by November 15, which will come into effect on November 22.
The move by Twitter is in complete contrast to Facebook, a rival social media giant, that has faced a backlash for its controversial policies on political advertising. Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that it is incorrect for private companies to censor politicians or news in a democratic country.