On Wednesday, Jack Dorsey announced that Twitter will no longer accept political ads. The platform will also reject ads about hot political issues, like immigration and abortion.
The decision of the company is a huge move amidst growing issues that politicians are taking advantage of the social media reach in deceiving voters ahead of the 2020 election.
In a tweet, Jack Dorsey said:
“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…”
He added that Internet ads are powerful and effective in reaching a wider audience. But such power is associated with some risks to politics. The power can also be utilized to sway votes and the lives of millions.
Jack said that his company considered stopping candidate ads only. However, issue ads will also be stopped. The reason for this is that candidates may purchase ads for issues that they wish to promote.
The final policy will be released on November 15. The enforcement of the new policy will be on November 22. It will allow current advertisers to adjust their ads before the changes will go into effect.
He ended his tweet with:
“A final note. This isn’t about free expression. This is about paying for reach. And paying to increase the reach of political speech has significant ramifications that today’s democratic infrastructure may not be prepared to handle. It’s worth stepping back in order to address.”
Some people praised Twitter’s decision. But others are not delighted. Critics highlighted that the new policy would not influence what the users could tweet or share.
The Effects of the Ban
The ban might not have a huge effect on accounts with wide followers. And this would include President Trump. Every day, his tweets reach over 66 million users. Critics also advised Twitter to remove President Trump’s tweets. They stated that his comments are incorrect.
Despite the fact that not all people are satisfied with this decision, this declaration of Twitter is considered to be a reminder of a significant rift between Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg. Mark defended his company’s policy that allows politicians to spread lies in ads. He said that in a democracy, it is not right for private companies, like Facebook, to censure news and politicians.
Twitter does not consider political advertising to be a critical part of its core business. Trump did not have a single ad on Twitter. However, he has spent millions of ads on Facebook over the past seven days.
Political ads have been a significant issue for various social media sites. During the 2016 election, advertisers tied to the Russian government bought promoted tweets and other online ads to promote Trump while undermining Clinton, Trump’s contender.
The regulators admonished social media sites for not spotting efforts by a foreign power to interfere in the elections. Joe Biden wrote to social media sites to stop running an ad that accused him of corruption.
Facebook received great criticism for its political ad policies. But Twitter also experienced its share of controversy.