Twitter bans political adverts
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey bans political adverts globally on its platform effective next month. Photo/Slate

As a result of misinformation from politicians globally on social media, Twitter, a social media platform is intending to block political adverts worldwide.

Jack Dorsey, new Twitter policy will see a ban on political adverts. The Chief Executive Director, in a post said that despite the effectiveness of the platform to commercial adverts, it has become risky as far as politics is concerned because it carries negative impact to voters.

“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,” Dorsey said.

The new policy details according to Dorsey will be launched earlier next month and implementation will commence on the 22, November 2019.

The Twitter policy will see a ban on political adverts as well as political candidates’ ads globally.

“We considered stopping only candidates’ 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 noted.

The purpose of this action, according to Dorsey is to trim potential problems particularly; unchecked misleading messages and serious counterfeits.

“Machine learning-based optimization of messaging and micro-targeting, unchecked misleading information, and deep fakes.”

This follows the pressure exerted on Facebook to institute fact checking application to politicians running ads with debunked claims.

Also, the policy comes after contrast to the Facebook policy that permits political speech and ads to run on Facebook minus fact-checking.

Commenting on the move taken by Twitter to ban political ads, Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg argues that political ads are relevant, because it gives the voiceless a platform for expression, but not necessarily a major source of income.

He adds that banning political ads will definitely be in favour of the incumbents.

However, Dorsey disagreed with Zuckerberg’s argument, saying the move to ban political ads on Twitter is not necessarily going to block peoples’ voices, because many social movements have reached the stars, without any political advertisement.

“We have witnessed many social movements reach a massive scale without any political advertising. I trust this will only grow.”

Hilary Clinton, 2016 US Democratic Presidential candidate in a twitter post welcomed the move saying, it’s the only way to defend democracy in America and elsewhere in the world.

“This is the right thing to do for democracy in America and all over the world.” “What say you, @Facebook?” Clinton added.

Ned Segal, Twitter Chief Financial Officer revealed that the move has a little financial effect on the social media giant.

He says it’s a principle and not money-based.

“Since we are getting questions: this decision was based on principle, not money. As context, we’ve disclosed that political ad spends for the 2018 US midterms was (less than $3m),” Segal revealed.

Jennifer Grygiel, Syracuse University Professor was as well sceptical, via her Twitter handle saying they are waiting to see the effectiveness of this new policy since twitter has not been fulfilling its promises in the past years.

“We have to wait and see how effective the new political policy will be.”

Nina Jankowicz, a Wilson Centre fellow specialising in disinformation was grateful about Twitter’s move, saying “it’s great that this move has been made globally and not just within the United States.”

“Too often these companies operate in a cloud of willful ignorance about the effects their products have outside our borders,” Jankowicz added.

Jankowicz adds that the move will ground the social arena by objecting wealthier candidates and groups overtaking conversations on social media.

“Paid speech essentially quashes some groups ability to speak out and be heard, because they can’t compete with the reach that their richer counterparts pay for.”

Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale said Twitter has just missed out an opportunity to make money.

“Twitter just walked away from hundreds of millions of dollars of potential revenue, a very dumb decision for their stockholders.”

“Will Twitter also be stopping ads from biased liberal media outlets who will now run unchecked as they buy obvious political content meant to attack Republicans?” Parscale wondered?

It’s also said; Democrats have exerted pressure on Facebook to delete political ads, and a group of employees has also called out for stronger efforts by Facebook to clamp down on ‘civil misinformation’ from political figures.