In a move to try and even the playing field for all politicians, various social media platforms are putting an end to political advertising and twitter has just joined the fray.
This comes just few days after one of the biggest social media platforms Facebook had it’s founder Mark Zuckerberg questioned and grilled by the US Senate on why they allowed political advertising on their platform.
Through his Twitter account, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey announced that they will stop political advertising on their platform. “We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought.” He said
Jack went on to give the various reasons as to why he and his team had decided to stop political advertising on their platform and here are the reasons he gave as quoted from his tweets.
“A political message earns reach when people decide to follow an account or retweet. Paying for reach removes that decision, forcing highly optimized and targeted political messages on people. We believe this decision should not be compromised by money.”
“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.”
“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.”
“These challenges will affect ALL internet communication, not just political ads. Best to focus our efforts on the root problems, without the additional burden and complexity taking money brings. Trying to fix both means fixing neither well, and harms our credibility.”
“For instance, it‘s not credible for us to say: “We’re working hard to stop people from gaming our systems to spread misleading info, buuut if someone pays us to target and force people to see their political ad…well…they can say whatever they want!”
“We considered stopping only candidate ads, but issue ads present a way to circumvent. Additionally, it isn’t fair for everyone but candidates to buy ads for issues they want to push. So we’re stopping these too.”
“We’re well aware we‘re a small part of a much larger political advertising ecosystem. Some might argue our actions today could favor incumbents. But we have witnessed many social movements reach massive scale without any political advertising. I trust this will only grow.”
“In addition, we need more forward-looking political ad regulation (very difficult to do). Ad transparency requirements are progress, but not enough. The internet provides entirely new capabilities, and regulators need to think past the present day to ensure a level playing field.”
“We’ll share the final policy by 11/15, including a few exceptions (ads in support of voter registration will still be allowed, for instance). We’ll start enforcing our new policy on 11/22 to provide current advertisers a notice period before this change goes into effect.”
And finally, “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.”
Twitter joins Facebook in taking strong action against any political advertising being done on Social Media platforms and this comes just in time as various countries are gearing up for elections.
Author: Moses Echodu
Moses is a freelance writer for Newslibre and Programs Manager at the Craft Silicon Foundation. He loves writing about sports, politics and news around the globe and Inspiring new young people!!