While Facebook continues to be the target of criticism and controversy after announcing that it does not prohibit political advertising, even if they contain false or unverified information, Twitter has crossed over to the opposite path, since it does not publish them at all globally.
Indeed, the social network warned that it will no longer accept any political announcement, which constitutes an important step in the struggle of technology companies and their efforts to deal with misleading information and false news (fake news) as the 2020 presidential elections approach in the United States.
In a series of publications through his account, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey explained the company's reasoning for this measure, focusing on the possible social and political risks of digital advertising.
Weve 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
"While internet advertising is incredibly powerful and very effective for commercial and business advertisers, that power carries significant risks to politics, where it can be used to influence votes and affect the lives of millions," he wrote.
“Political ads on the Internet present completely new challenges for civic discourse: optimization based on automatic message learning and microfocalization, unverified misleading information and fake Deepfake videos. All at an increasing speed, great sophistication and an overwhelming scale, ”Dorsey added.
There has been much talk about the determining role that social networks play in the political field, while the main leaders of the industry try to calm concerns and controversies. The social networks approach to political ads has also become an important issue of conversation in the Democratic presidential primaries. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is targeting Facebook, posted an intentionally false announcement to call attention to the issue.
“It is not about free expression. It's about paying for the reach. And paying to increase the scope of political discourse has significant ramifications that today's democratic infrastructure may not be prepared to handle. It is worth stepping back to address this issue, ”Dorsey said in another of his tweets.
The new measure will be officially implemented on November 15, 2019 and include some exceptions, such as announcements in support of voter registration. The policy will be effective as of November 22.