Twitter Will Stop “All Political Advertising” Globally

Twitter’s co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey has just announced that the social media company will no longer allow political advertising. The move to ban political ads was announced by Dorsey via a series of tweets, which outlined the company’s attempt to deal with the “entirely new challenges to civic discourse” that internet ads pose, including “machine learning-based optimization of messaging and micro-targeting, unchecked misleading information, and deep fakes.”

Below is the majority of Dorsey’s sequence of tweets:

Dorsey also noted that he and the company will share the final policy by November 15, which will include exceptions for some political ads, such as ads in support of voter registration. The new policy will go into effect on November 22, “to provide current advertisers a notice period before this change goes into effect.”

The move comes amidst continued growing concern for the way political speech is handled on social media platforms. Just a week ago, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was grilled by Congress in regards to how exactly the behemoth social network plans on handling political ads. Here is some of his exchange with Congressperson Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez:

Although Facebook will continue to run political ads, it’s said that it wants to make them more transparent. The social media giant says that it will also label state-controlled media and “more prominently label content across Facebook and Instagram that has been rated false by third-party fact checkers.”

According to a cursory glance, Dorsey’s move to ban political ads seems to be earning the approval of users, who, by contrast, seem to be dissatisfied with Zuckerberg’s political ad strategy.

Even American whistleblower Edward Snowden, who has been vocal about his disapproval of the way social media handles people’s data, praised the decision.

As of this writing, there was no response to Twitter’s decision from the official White House Twitter account nor President Trump’s personal Twitter account. At least one Democratic presidential candidate tweeted a positive reaction to Dorsey’s decision.

Feature image: The White House

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