31 Oct 2019
Twitter is banning political ads globally, says CEO Jack Dorsey
The ban, set to go into effect from November 22, comes as part of an effort to curb the promotion of misleading messages in the run-up to the 2020 US Presidential elections.
Here's all you need to know about it.
Candidates should 'earn' political message reach
Dorsey announced the plan to ban political ads in a series of tweets, noting that Twitter believes political messages' reach should be earned organically, not bought.
"Political message earns reach when people decide to follow an account or retweet," he said, adding that "paying for reach removes that decision, forcing highly optimized and targeted political messages on people."
Gaming the system
Plus, the ban will keep politicians from gaming Twitter's system
In addition to the basic 'belief', Dorsey also claimed that banning political advertising will also close the doors of system gaming, where political parties/candidates use different techniques to promote fake messages aimed at influencing people and their votes.
"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," he emphasized.
Both candidate and issue ads to be banned
Notably, as part of this move, Twitter won't allow candidate or issue ads starting November 22.
"We considered stopping 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," Dorsey said, noting the full policy will be shared on November 15.
Twitter will be ground zero for political movements
With the latest move, Twitter has become the ground zero for political movements, where only legit campaigns will get the traction through follows and retweets and no one could pay to get the reach.
"Some might argue our actions today could favor incumbents," Dorsey said. "But we've witnessed many social movements reach massive scale without any political advertising. I trust this will only grow."
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Some exceptions, however, will be allowed
While most political ads will be banned from Twitter, there will be exceptions, according to Dorsey. He didn't specify these exceptions, but ads in support of voter registration would definitely be allowed.