SAN FRANCISCO – Twitter is banning all political advertising from its service, saying social media companies give advertisers an unfair advantage in the proliferation of highly targeted and misleading messages.
"While Internet advertising is incredibly powerful and very effective for commercial advertisers, this power carries significant policy risks where it can be used to influence votes to affect the lives of millions," tweeted Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, on Wednesday in a series of tweets announcing the new policy.
Facebook has caught fire since it announced in early October that it will not check ads from politicians or their campaigns, which could allow them to lie freely. CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Congress last week that politicians have a right to free speech on Facebook.
The issue came up suddenly in September when Twitter, along with Facebook and Google, refused to remove a misleading video ad from President Donald Trump's campaign aimed at former Vice President Joe Biden, one of the top presidential candidates. Democrats.
In response, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, another presidential candidate, ran her own Facebook ad, targeting Zuckerberg. The announcement falsely claimed that Zuckerberg endorsed President Donald Trump for reelection, acknowledging the deliberate falsity required to make an argument.
Critics have called for Facebook to ban all political ads. Among them, Jeff Zucker, head of CNN, who recently called the company's policy of allowing lies "absolutely ridiculous" and advised the social media giant to stay out of the 2020 election until it finds something better.
Google and Facebook did not comment immediately on Twitter's policy change.
Dorsey said the company is recognizing that social media advertising offers an unfair level of targeting compared to other media. This is not about free speech, he said.
"It's about paying for reach. And paying to extend the reach of political discourse has significant ramifications that today's democratic infrastructure may not be prepared to deal with," he tweeted. "It's worth going back in order to settle."
Currently, Twitter only allows campaigns and certified organizations to display political ads for candidates and questions. It will ban both types of political ads.
The company said some exceptions will be made, including announcements that encourage voter participation. He will describe those in a detailed policy that he plans to launch on November 15.
Most of the money spent on political advertising in the US goes to television ads.
Twitter policy will begin on November 22.
We decided to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. We believe that the reach of the political message must be earned, not bought. Why? Some reasons …
– Jack (@jack) October 30, 2019