Last week, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced via a tweet, that a ban on all political advertising will be finalized on Nov. 22. This ban will be put in effect worldwide to all ads revolving around elections, which includes other political matters.
Dorsey made the tweet a day before Halloween that said, “We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought. Why? A few reasons…” After Dorsey’s tweet, a string of other tweets followed with more information on the ban that received over 56,000 likes.
Recently, critics surrounded Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, after he made remarks about political advertising. In a speech about “free expression”, Zuckerberg made it clear that Facebook’s decision in accepting ads by political parties from fact checking by stating that this exception is about “paying for reach to increase the feedback of political speeches.
When I was watching Zuckerberg’s testimony before the Supreme Court weeks ago, I wondered how someone could be that foolhardy. His meeting with Trump about his campaign makes the greed Zuckerberg has for money that much worse. First Facebook has issues with privacy terms and now they disregard lies politicians are trying to spread over Facebook for personal gain. It is simply gratuitous.
Brad Parscale, who is Trump’s campaign manager, spoke about his concerns about the political ban for Twitter. Obviously against the ban, Parscale said that it was just another tactic to silence Trump and other conservatives. Of course anybody would expect Trump’s biggest supporter, his campaign manager, to vouch for him even if it means saying something so brave, yet so controversial. Silencing liars trying to build propaganda should be a good call.
Although Twitter’s intentions are respectable, this ban on election ads and political issues could develop harder obstacles for CEO Jack Dorsey. We are dealing with technology after all and one way or another, the system always malfunctions. There is always a loophole. Twitter said they are doing this to stop politicians from lying to their supporters, but this ban also targets any political issues. This means issues like climate change, gun rights, and nonprofit organizations like Planned Parenthood cannot reach their followings.
I will be interested to see what is able to unfold and if Twitter will tweak the ban guidelines. They will now be in charge of saying what are the real issues and what are not real issues.
This could create and uproar and divide us as a society even more than we are now. Political issues like the #MeToo movement and the abortions bans have an impact and to decide if it matters enough or not, could create problems within Twitter feeds.