Twitter ban political ads, the pressure is put on Facebook - The360 Technology

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  • Sunday, November 3, 2019

    Twitter ban political ads, the pressure is put on Facebook

    Twitter ban political ads, the pressure is put on Facebook

    Twitter's decision to ban political ads is in sharp contrast to Facebook's radically opposite choice in the name of freedom of expression.


    Twitter will stop selling advertisements for job candidates, elections, or political issues such as climate change and immigration. A decision announced by Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of Twitter for whom the scope of a political message must be "deserved, not bought".

    According to him, Internet advertising creates new challenges that require Twitter to change its practices regarding audience micro-targeting, manipulated videos known as deepfake and messages optimized by machine learning.

    "It's not about freedom of expression. It's about paying for the reach (political message, ed), "tweeted Jack Dorsey. "And paying to increase the scope of the political discourse has important ramifications that the current democratic infrastructure may not be ready to handle. "

    TikTok also banned political ads

    Twitter's policy change comes as the debate over social media messaging intensifies as US elections approach 2020. Facebook, which allows politicians to lie in their ads, has been criticized for allowing spreading false information. The leaders of the social network defended this policy, claiming that it protects the freedom of expression.

    Misinformation played a role in the 2016 US presidential election, as Russian trolls bought Facebook ads to sow discord among Americans. Recently, TikTok banned political advertising.

    Twitter's decision has elicited mixed reactions from Facebook, politicians, analysts and civil rights activists. Some members of the Democratic Party have praised Twitter, saying the ban on political advertising will help protect democracy. The campaign team for the re-election of President Donald Trump considered this decision as a gesture aimed at censoring conservative speech. Civil rights groups and analysts have pointed out that politicians do not need to buy ads to reach a wide audience and that the ban on ads may not do much to curb the spread of misinformation.

    Facebook right in his boots

    In any case, the position of Twitter puts a little more pressure on Facebook to do the same. Hillary Clinton, Democratic presidential candidate of 2016, challenged the social network to also ban political advertising. "It's the right thing to do for democracy in America and around the world," she tweeted. But Facebook said he did not intend to change his mind. In a phone call with analysts after the release of his latest quarterly results, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO, said the ban on ads would hurt advocacy groups and political candidates the media decide do not cover. "Advertisements can be an important part of that voice," he said, noting that Google, YouTube, and most cable networks and national TV channels broadcast the same political ads as Facebook.

    "In a democracy, I do not think it's fair for private companies to censor politicians or the media. And it's hard to define where to draw the line. Should we block advertisements for important political issues like climate change or women's rights advocacy? "

    As with Twitter, political ads on Facebook represent only a small portion of the company's revenue. Mark Zuckerberg said they will probably generate less than 0.5% of Facebook's revenue next year.

    Jack Dorsey believes that the power of Internet advertising "carries significant risks" because it can influence voting and affect millions of lives. Twitter will unveil its policy on November 15 and begin to apply from November 22. There will be exceptions, such as advertisements for voter registration.

    Mixed reactions

    The team of Joe Biden, former vice president of Barack Obama and candidate for the inauguration of the Democratic Party for the 2020 presidential, has welcomed the decision of Twitter. "We appreciate that Twitter recognizes that it should not allow refuted slander, such as the Trump campaign, to appear in advertisements on its platform."

    In Trump camp, the choice of the social network has been described as a "very stupid decision". According to Brad Parscale, head of the Trump 2020 campaign, "This is another attempt to silence the Conservatives, since Twitter knows that President Trump has the most sophisticated online program ever."

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