Twitter announced yesterday in a tweet thread by CEO Jack Dorsey that it will stop accepting political ads.
In a tweet on Wednesday, he said “We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. 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.”
Twitter’s CFO, Ned Segal, tweeted Wednesday that the organization made under $3 million from political ads in the 2018 cycle anyway.
He added that the decision to become the first major social network to ban all forms of political ads globally on its platform was one of principle and not money. This comes as Facebook insists that it will keep collecting such money and taking it further won’t fact check what any political ad is saying. This has angered not only the public but Facebook’s own employees numbering over 250 who sent a protest letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
The declaration comes in the midst of serious investigation of Silicon Valley’s treatment of political ads.
Dorsey’s remarks somewhat put pressure on senior Facebook administrators, including Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, who have enthusiastically defended Facebook’s approach of not certainty checking political advertisements.
Zuckerberg emphasized his position on political publicizing on Wednesday, featuring how Facebook and Twitter have wandered apart.
Well this may have not gone down well with Mark Zuckerberg in third quarter earnings call said “we need to be careful about adopting more and more rules” obviously referring to political ads. He is of the opinion that regulating political ads could be a way of censorship of a minority as well. This he continued by saying “In a democracy, I don’t think it’s right for private companies to censor politicians or the news.”
Politicians around the world already have access to traditional media organisations and have always used them to advance their agenda.
But this is really a matter of choice because even Facebook makes a small portion of its income from political ads. Zuckerberg predicted that political advertising will only account for less than 0.5 percent of revenue next year not minding that it’s a major political season in the United States. It may interest you to know that Facebook ad revenue for the third quarter stood at $17.38b up 28 percent from the same period last year.
This buttresses the point he tried to make earlier in the month that “Given the sensitivity around political ads, I’ve considered whether we should stop allowing them altogether. From a business perspective, the controversy certainly isn’t worth the small part of our business they make up. But political ads are an important part of voice — especially for local candidates, up-and-coming challengers, and advocacy groups that may not get much media attention otherwise. Banning political ads favours incumbents and whoever the media covers.”
We are in the era where news flies around and largely go unchecked thereby misleading members of the public. Earlier in the year, Elon Musk backed OpenAI researchers announced that they have created a system that can embellish text content but also pledged that they won’t release it to the public at least not yet. Then in May, Researchers at the Samsung AI centre in Moscow said they deployed a method for creating videos of anyone using an image of that person with artificial intelligence.
The Twitter CEO added though that they would share about the policy on November 15th and would stop accepting political ads on November 22nd.