In a bombshell statement that will at least partially alter the current political advertising landscape, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced on Wednesday that the platform will ban all paid political ads starting in November.
According to CNBC, Dorsey tweeted the news on Wednesday afternoon and revealed why the company thinks political social reach should be earned as opposed to being purchased.
“We’ve 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…” Dorsey tweeted before posting a multi-threaded explanation of what the new policy means and what to expect.
Dorsey went on to say that paid political ads are equivalent to forcing a message on groups of users — especially given the hyper-targeting available to advertisers on the platform — providing an unfair advantage to politicians with deep campaign war chests.
“A political message earns reach when people decide to follow an account or retweet. Paying for reach removes that decision, forcing highly optimized and targeted political messages on people. We believe this decision should not be compromised by money,” Dorsey wrote.
The Twitter CEO also expressed concern about using paid advertising campaigns to influence how a person votes, though critics of his move will undoubtedly ask what the difference is between a politician advertising on Twitter compared to television and print ads.
In another stunning update in his original thread of explanatory follow-up tweets, Dorsey announced that the platform would also ban issue-based ads, claiming it gives politicians a loophole to push their core message.
“We considered stopping only candidate ads, but issue ads present a way to circumvent. Additionally, it isn’t fair for everyone but candidates to buy ads for issues they want to push. So we’re stopping these too,” Dorsey wrote.
Dorsey assured any naysayers who might claim this gives incumbent politicians an edge that he has personally witnessed various social movements go viral without the help of paid ads, while taking a jab at federal political ad regulatory officials who he implied were behind the times, as far as internet advertising is concerned.
JUST IN: @Twitter will ban political advertising on its platform and will release a final ad policy on November 16 after missing its earnings for the past quarter. #CheddarLive $TWTR pic.twitter.com/Vjnygei693— Cheddar (@cheddar) October 30, 2019
He also stated that a full explanation of the new policy will be released on November 15 and noted that some politically-related promoted content, such as paid ads to encourage voter registration, will still be allowed on the platform.
The news comes in the wake of a recent admission from the social media network that it gives President Donald Trump and other world leaders more leeway on any violations that might occur from tweets published on their accounts, as reported by The Inquisitr. Trump’s opponents, including Sen. Kamala Harris, have claimed that the president abuses Twitter to affect outcomes of national issues, such as his impeachment investigation.
Twitter’s decision to ban political and issued-based ads comes as social media giant Facebook continues to face increased scrutiny on their unwillingness to fact-check paid political ads.