For years, Twitter has struggled to try to capture more advertisers. Even so, this Wednesday, decided to voluntarily forgo some of them.
From the 22nd of November, the social network already does not spread more advertising policy in any part of the world.
“Although advertising on the internet is incredibly powerful and very effective for the commercial advertisers, that power brings with it significant risks in the policy,” he said in a tweet, Jack Dorsey, co-founder and president of the company.
The details of how it will work the ban will be released next November 15. So soon, it is known that the measure it will not affect those advertisements intended to encourage all citizens to register in the register of electors.
Dorsey announced the measure in a very particular moment, when the united States is about to enter fully into the campaign for the presidential elections of 2020 and when, in fact, the Democratic Party is fully embedded in the process to choose the candidate that will try to snatch the presidency to the republican Donald Trump.
The theme of the advertising policy in social networks is very controversial in the united States and the United Kingdom from which arose complaints about attempts to manipulate the voters through the spread of false messages on social networks, both for the presidential campaign of 2016 in which he was elected Trump as in the referendum the british about the Brexit.
Brad Parscale, head of the reelection campaign of president bush, criticized the decision on Twitter stating that it is “another attempt by the left to silence Trump and to the conservatives”.
Twitter bans political ads in yet another attempt by the left to silence Trump and conservatives. Wouldn’t be surprised if @twitter lifted the ban after 2020.
In a statement, the command of campaign, Trump said that Twitter had closed the door to hundreds of millions of dollars in potential revenue and pointed out that it is a decision “silly” that harms its shareholders.
But Bill Russo, a spokesman for the campaign of Joe Biden, who leads the intention to vote among the candidates democrats, welcomed the measure.
“When confronted with the choice between advertising dollars and the integrity of our democracy, it is encouraging that, for once, the money has not earned“he said in a message on Twitter.
But, how to justify Twitter this decision?
To win over the audience
“We believe that the scope of the policy messages should be something that is earned, not purchased, “said Dorsey in a thread on Twitter in which he announced the new measure.
“A political message to earn your scope when people choose to follow an account or make a retuit. Pay for the spreading eliminates that decision, imposing on the persons political messages highly optimized and targeted. We believe that this decision should not be put at risk by money,” he said.
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 explained that in relation to politics, advertising on the internet brings significant risks as it can be used to influence the voters and affect the lives of millions of people.
“Political ads on the internet represent challenges completely new to the civic debate“he added, referring explicitly to the optimization of messages on the basis of the learning machine and targeted to a very specific audience, the dissemination of misleading information without verifying and deep fake.
The head of Twitter he added that to address these problems at the same time that they receive money from these advertisers could adversely affect the credibility of the network.
“It is not credible for us to say: ‘We are working hard to stop the people who try to take advantage of our systems to spread false information, but if someone pays us to direct and force people to see your ad political…well…they can say what they want’,” he said.
Behind the decision of Twitter, can also be present the theme of the competition for credibility and influence against other social networks.
As explained by Jim Waterson, editor on issues of media of the british daily The Guardianthis can be a move very insightful.
“Twitter has done something very clever here because Twitter is a small player in the world of advertising policy”, noted in conversation with the BBC.
“To do this, they have put a lot of pressure on Facebookthat is his main rival and a great beast in this area, to actually clarify their policies,” he added.
Waterson noted that in the next presidential elections in the united States, most of the political advertising will go to Facebook and stressed that the company has said that it will allow any candidate to say what he wants without being checked or limited.
“This is really interesting because it means that it is essentially a free pass to politicians pay to promote lies, truths or whatever in your feed during the upcoming elections”, he warned.
Facebook has been under intense scrutiny since the outbreak of the scandal of Cambridge Analytica, a british company that is using the access you had to the data of the users of that social network managed to build the profile of millions of voters in the united States to try to influence the elections of 2016.
Last week, Zuckerberg appeared before the Congress of the united States, where he was harshly challenged by democrat whose Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“You recently announced that the official policy of Facebook now allows politicians to pay for spreading misinformation in the elections of 2020 and in the future. So I just want to know how far you can carry this,” he gave Ocasio.
Zuckerberg said that the platform would delete the messages of anyone, including politicians, who call to violence, or tried to contain the participation of the voters.
However, in regards to the false news, he said that was not the role of Facebook to avoid “people in an election they see that you have lied”.