ELECTRONIC SULKING BOARD Twitter has announced that it will no longer allow paid political advertising on its platform.
In a series of tweets (naturally), Twitter boss Jack Dorsey explained that the company felt that the spread of opinion should be earned, not bought.
We've made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought. Why? A few reasons…🧵— jack 🌍🌏🌎 (@jack) October 30, 2019
(This is the first tweet in a long thread, we recommend you read the whole thing when you have a moment).
With both the UK and USA preparing for elections, the timing for the decision couldn't be better, and now the calls have begun in earnest to convince Facebook, which makes far more money from political ads, and has far more influence than Twitter, to follow suit.
Alas, it seems it's not to be, with Zuck poo-pooing the idea. At a recent event, he said the company should ‘err on the side of free expression', despite the Cambridge Analytica scandal and a general recognition that Facebook was responsible for allowing the 2016 US Election to be tampered with.
Zuck also says that the decision wasn't about the money.
In fairness to Twitter, money isn't the issue for it either, with a political ad spend last year only in five-figures, but with Facebook's seven-figure takings, one has to wonder.
Dorsey has confirmed that 'earned' means ‘shared', and that organic posts with political content will be unaffected. Twitter will also allow non-partisan political adverts such as adverts about registering to vote.
The full rules are yet to be finalised but will be made available on or before the 15 November. The new policy goes into force on 22 November. µ
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