Social Media platforms are getting under the radar of ethical questions due to political ads which are leading to abuse and interference in the 2020 US Presidential elections.
Following TikTok, Twitter has announced that the company will not allow any Political Ads outside of non-partisan exceptions (such as voter registration), whether they come from candidates or interest groups after November 22nd, the company will also announce the final finished policy on November 15th.
In a long thread on Twitter, Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter said that this decision comes from both principles and practical reality checks, he said any political message should reach the people if they follow the accounts or reach through sharing accounts, and that message “should not reach using money”.
“Some might argue our actions today could favor incumbents,” Dorsey said. “But we have witnessed many social movements reach massive scale without any political advertising.”
He also added that there were a sudden growth in variety of methods for manipulating political discussions, including AI-optimized messages, misinformation and deepfakes, these processes were hurting the reputation of Twitter which is a platform for Freedom of Speech.
He also took a subtle jab on Facebook’s willingness to counter false claims in political ads which comes from politicians. The company was not credible to say that they are fighting and making serious attempts to stop misinformation from spreading while simultaneously allowing the misinformation to spread if someone is paying them.
It’s not a much impactful decision as the ad spending in the 2018 mid-term election was below $3 million but it could be a favourable place for users who wants to avoid political ads, this step may also allow other companies to follow the same process to avoid spreading of misinformation on their platforms.