“Political reach should be earned, not bought.” The Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey brings an end to twitter political ads campaign which means the social networking platform will stop selling ads that concern political leaders, agenda, candidates for office, elections and crucial topics that might affect the elections. Jack Dorsey posted the changes made by twitter on his personal twitter account in a series of 11 tweets, where he unveiled his decisions which will be effective from next month. He argued that the reach of political messages “should be earned” by getting people to follow an account or share a tweet instead of “bought” through advertising. This gives twitter a strong stand against social media interference in politics leaving facebook, another advertisement industry giant a chance to take over political advertisements. This bold move from twitter earns them much more credibility where facebook is yet to decide how they are going to face those issues.
Dorsey also said that internet advertising presents new challenges that require twitter to change their practices. Those challenges include micro-targeting of audiences, manipulated videos known as deep fakes and messages optimized by machine learning.
In the world of fake news, deep fake is becoming more common day by day and are used for malpractices. It is getting more harder to identify deep fake videos as the technology is developing rapidly and more people are being aware of it. It is high time that the social media giants take some important steps toward fake news because those things spread like wildfire and people consuming this stupid stuff much more. Every day as technology is improving people are becoming more dependent on news that are spread over social media more than the conventional news from the TV channels or newspaper. We consume so much news every day as we scroll down those social media pages, that it is getting so much difficult to compare fake news with real news.
“This isn’t about free expression. This is about paying for reach,” Dorsey tweeted. “And paying to increase the reach of political speech has significant ramifications that today’s democratic infrastructure may not be prepared to handle.”
The change in Twitter’s policy comes as the debate over political messages on social media intensifies ahead of the 2020 US elections. Facebook, which allows politicians to lie in ads, has been criticized for allowing the spread of misinformation. Facebook executives defended the policy, saying it safeguards free speech.
Misinformation played a role in the 2016 American presidential election, with Russians trolls purchasing Facebook ads in an effort to sow discord among Americans. Other social media companies, such as short-form video app TikTok, have barred political ads in order to protect its light-hearted culture.
There are also so many opposing views to it. Trump’s 2020 campaign called it a “very dumb decision.” Trump, who is very active and vocal in twitter, has more than 66.4 million followers on the platform. He’s been accused of violating the company’s rules against threats and hate speech, but Twitter hasn’t locked him up (pun intended) from the platform. In June, Twitter said it would put a warning notice over tweets from certain politicians that violate its rules but are left up in public interest.
It seems like Facebook also doesn’t like the idea of stopping political ads through its platform. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said barring ads would hurt advocacy groups and political candidates the media chooses not to cover. “Ads can be an important part of voice,” he said.
This decision surely hurts Twitter’s revenue model but will bring an end to active politics on twitter. Now we have to wait and see the consequences of it and how it affects their business. Will it create a window of opportunity for Facebook or will the other social media platforms follow their lead and stop political interference in social media.