Social media has risen to unfathomable heights within American society over the course of the last few decades, but this unkempt and ever-quickening expansion has come with some serious growing pains.
This has been truer nowhere than it has been in the political realm, as social media companies struggle with how best to police the use of their platforms by public servants…if they will police it at all.
Facebook has received an incredible backlash for its refusal to censor political advertisements that could contain false or misleading information.
Twitter has chosen to take a different approach, however, and will completely ban political advertising of all kinds.
“While internet advertising is incredibly powerful and very effective for commercial advertisers, that power brings significant risks to politics,” company CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted.
Social media rival Facebook recently ruled out a ban on political ads.
Social media firms are under particular scrutiny ahead of US elections in 2020.
The ban will be enforced from 22 November, with full details released by 15 November.
How this will jive with the use of the platform by political candidates has yet to be addressed.
Dorsey took a rather pointed swipe at Facebook while explaining the decision.
“It’s not credible,” he wrote, “for us to say: ‘We’re working hard to stop people from gaming our systems to spread misleading info, buuut if someone pays us to target and force people to see their political ad…well…they can say whatever they want!'”
Countering the argument that the new policy might be seen as favouring leaders already in office, he pointed out that “many social movements reach massive scale without any political advertising”.
Twitter has struggled in the past with just how to deal with statements made by President Trump that fact-checkers have deemed to be misleading, at one point even considering a filter on the Commander in Chief’s account that would warn users of possibly disputed info.
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