Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey posted a long thread on Twitter announcing that the platform is halting political ads. Dorsey, putting a spotlight on the power of online advertising, ramped up the pressure on Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg. For the unaware, Zuckerberg has opted for a hands-off stance.
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
According to Dorsey, Twitter believes that a political message should earn its “reach when people decide to follow an account or retweet.” They should not be forced upon people by using money. According to him, civic discourse is being challenged due to the manipulated videos and viral spread of misleading information on social media platforms.
Dorsey is worried that ads that are bought have, “significant ramifications that today’s democratic infrastructure may not be prepared to handle.”
Considering how these platforms make money via selling ads, this was a pretty heroic move to make. However, it makes us think about the stance Facebook’s CEO has decided to act upon.
Earlier this month Zuckerberg, in a statement, said that Facebook will not police political speech in any way. According to him, politicians were free to run any claims on the platform, even if they were false. Zuckerberg is adamant that Facebook’s motto is ‘Free expression’. It was founded to give people a free voice and will keep on doing so.
Facebook believes political ads are ‘Newsworthy’.
Facebook is Receiving Backlash
Since Zuckerberg made this statement, many Democrats including Joseph R. Biden (former US VP) have shown disagreement with the Social media giant’s stance. Hundreds of Facebook employees have written letters to the CEO to reconsider.
The situation aggravated under the light of Twitter’s statement that it will eliminate political ads by 22nd November. While the platform has been receiving praise from many politicians, President Trump’s campaign manager is condemning Twitter for the decision.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York said, “if a company cannot or does not wish to run basic fact-checking on paid political advertising, then they should not run paid political ads at all.”