Twitter rejects flawed Facebook logic, stops serving political ads

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Twitter will stop running paid political ads.

The announcement, made Wednesday afternoon by Jack Dorsey, contrasts sharply with that of Facebook controversial decision to allow politicians to pay to spread lies. It’s a smart move and, despite Mark Zuckerberg’s protests, Dorsey says it has nothing to do with free speech.

As the CEO of Twitter rightly points out, the policy will not stop politicians from tweeting, but rather prevent them and their teams from using his company’s advanced micro-targeting service to win. paid exposure.

“It’s not about freedom of expression” Dorsey tweeted. “It’s about paying for the reach. And paying to increase the reach of political discourse has important ramifications that today’s democratic infrastructure may not be ready to handle.”

This policy change, which will take effect on November 22, also includes a ban on “post announcements. “Although Twitter does an attempt to define it, it’s not 100% clear what constitutes problematic advertising – does defending a woman’s right to an abortion matter, for example – and we’ll have to see how Twitter handles this potentially more delicate aspect of new rules.

Notably, in the thread of 11 tweets, Dorsey appropriately calls bullshit on Mark Zuckerberg. slandered insistence that he “doesn’t think it’s fair for a private company to censor politicians or news in a democracy.”

We reached out to Facebook to find out if Twitter’s new policy had an impact on Mark Zuckerberg’s thinking on the issue of paid political ads. We received no immediate response.

Dorsey’s thread, which you should read in its entirety, will certainly appeal to critics of Facebook’s decision to allow politicians to lie about naysayers in paid ads. However, it reads as more than just a reaction to this, as it also addresses the broader issues inherent in targeted advertising online.

“Political advertising on the internet presents entirely new challenges for civic discourse: machine learning-based messaging and micro-targeting optimization, unverified misleading information and deep forgery. ” he tweeted. “All at increasing speed, sophistication and overwhelming scale.”

Dorsey writes that a full explanation of the new policy will be released by November 15. In the meantime, the ball is back in Facebook’s court.

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