OPINION: Twitter has announced that it will ban all political adverts from November 22.
The news broke as Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, posted a thread outlining his social network’s intentions and reasoning.
“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…” the thread began.
Dorsey’s next tweet went on to say: “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.”
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And further, “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”.
So far, so sensible. Right?
Well, not according to everyone. Interestingly, a statement from Brad Parscale, the Trump/Pence 2020 campaign manager, attacked the decision.
“Twitter just walked away from hundreds of millions of dollars of potential revenue, a very dumb decision for their stockholders,” he claimed.
True to form, the statement from the Trump camp went onto criticise the decision further, claiming the so-called “biased liberal media outlets who will now run unchecked as they buy obvious political content meant to attack Republicans”.
The news comes in the shadow of an explosive week for social networks as Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, faced a volley of difficult questions from Democrat Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Last week’s hearing highlighted Facebook’s more capitalistic approach to political advertising. With Zuckerberg confirming that Facebook will continue to take money from political groups for advertising.
Even if the ads contain information that is factually incorrect.