Twitter will ban political advertising globally

By Helene Fung

In response to growing concerns over social media posts containing fake news from, and about, politicians, Twitter announced that it would stop accepting political advertising world-wide, banning ads on both political issues as well as ads from candidates. 

Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey said full details of the policy will be unveiled soon, and will be enforced from 22nd of November. Mr Dorsey said the move is to eliminate potential problems from “”machine learning-based optimisation of messaging and micro-targeting, unchecked misleading information, and deep fakes”.

This is a vastly different approach to that taken by Facebook which allows political speeches and ads to run without fact-checking. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that political advertising is not a major source of revenue for Facebook, but that he believes it is important to allow everyone a “voice”, and banning political ads would be advantageous to the incumbents.

Mr Dorsey disagrees with Mr Zuckerberg’s view, and said that many social movements have reached massive scale without any political advertising and that he expects the trend to continue to grow. 

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