Twitter bans political ads and causes
Twitter Inc announced that ‘its political advertising ban will include references to political candidates or legislation, and it will not allow ads that advocate for a certain outcome on social and political causes‘. The controversial ban is expected to go into effect on 22 November in time for the upcoming UK election and the USA 2020 elections. US President Donald Trump’s campaign called it a ‘very dumb’ decision, ‘yet another attempt to silence conservatives’. In a series of tweets, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey explained that followers accept political messages when they decide to follow an account, but that Twitter believes ‘this decision should not be compromised by money’ (paid ads), which is especially important, because these ads are not fact checked. Acknowledging that it will be very difficult for social media platforms to control election interference and similar problem areas, Jennifer Grygiel underlined the need for regulation, saying ‘I don’t believe that any of the social media platforms will implement any of these policies in a way that will be effective. We need regulation in this space, not Twitter setting its own definition for political content. Ultimately, these corporations will serve their own business interests’.