In a series of tweets, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced on Wednesday that the microblogging and social media platform would no longer allow political advertisements. Using his personal Twitter account, Dorsey said that they had made the decision to ban political ads on the platform because they believe that “political message reach should be earned” and “not bought.”
“We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought,” said Dorsey. In the thread that follows the first tweet, Dorsey enumerated several reasons that led to their decision.
Dorsey argues that political messages should organically gain their reach through follows and retweets. Once a politician buys ads to place his political message, Twitter believes that it removes the power to choose.
“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.”
The decision is particularly important, according to Dorsey, because political messages have the power to “influence votes to affect the lives of millions.”
“Internet political ads present entirely new challenges to civic discourse: machine learning-based optimization of messaging and micro-targeting, unchecked misleading information, and deep fakes. All at increasing velocity, sophistication, and overwhelming scale,” he added. “These challenges will affect ALL internet communication, not just political ads. Best to focus our efforts on the root problems, without the additional burden and complexity taking money brings. Trying to fix both means fixing neither well, and harms our credibility.”
This is a developing story.