UNITED STATES—Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, announced on Wednesday, October 30, via his Twitter account that the social media platform would stop all political advertising on its site.
Dorsey posted several tweets in one thread stating he firmly believes political ads should be earned through their followers and not through purchase. The CEO mentioned he was first focused on banning only the ads focused on candidates, but decided to include ads related to specific issues.
Twitter’s legal team defines ads to be banned as the following: Ads that refer to an election or a candidate or ads that advocate for or against legislative issues of national importance (such as: climate change, healthcare, immigration, national security, taxes, etc).
“This isn’t about free expression. This is about paying for reach. And paying to increase the reach of political speech has significant ramifications that todays democrat infrastructure may not be prepared to handle. It’s worth stepping back in order to address,” Dorsey tweeted.
Twitter’s decision to ban ads comes as Facebook is being criticized for allowing political ads that may or may not be accurate. Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg and his team defend their decision by saying the public and media are open to reviewing those ads and deciding what to believe for themselves, instead of putting the responsibility on the social media platform.
Other social media sites that have banned political ads include the Chinese-owned TikTok, as well as Pinterest.
Dorsey and his legal team state they will have a final policy ready and released by November 15. The new policy will include a few exceptions, which may include ads in support of voter registration. The new policy will go into effect on November 22.