Twitter to ban all political ads from next month

Twitter to ban all political ads from next month
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey

Twitter has announced that all political advertisements will be banned from the platform starting next month.

The company CEO Jack Dorsey made the announcement on Wednesday via his Twitter handle @jack.

“We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought. 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,” he said.

The ban is to take effect on November 22 across the globe, The Guardian newspaper reported.

Political campaigns around the world, particularly ones geared towards the upcoming U.K. election, are expected to be hardest hit even as Dorsey maintained that:

“..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.”

He further averred that online political campaigns have introduced unprecedented risks such as unchecked misleading information and deep fakes at an alarming rate.

The Twitter boss also decried the sophistication and overwhelming scale of the challenges involved in political advertising on social media.

“…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!” he added.

Dorsey called for enhanced political ad regulation and transparency saying that regulators need to think past the present day to ensure a level playing field.

Twitter’s move to ban political ads from the platform puts Facebook on the spotlight.

According to The Guardian, the Mark Zuckerberg-led company faced backlash after a move to exempt politicians from fact checking by third parties.

Two days ago, U.S. Senator Mark Warner urged Zuckerberg to reconsider the decision.

“While Facebook’s advertising rules have long prohibited ads with ‘deceptive, false, or misleading content’ — relying on its ‘third-party fact-checkers’ to identify violations of these policies — Facebook subsequently revised these rules to exempt political ads run by politicians through a policy that withholds such ads from third-party fact-checker review,” CNBC quoted Warner’s letter to the Facebook CEO.

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