Twitter, social media giant, tightens bans on political ads in the wake of upcoming 2020 US elections

Twitter, social media giant, tightens bans on political ads in the wake of upcoming 2020 US elections

  • Election in US are scheduled during Nov 2020
  • Social media content nowadays have a potential to impact a lot of population globally which led Twitter to strengthen its ban on the post content

Twitter said that as a precautionary measure ahead of Nov 2020 US elections, it aims to secure some ban on the way ads are being shared over its platform globally. It said that it won’t allow any ads that seems to include direct or indirect references to any particular party, candidates or legislation. Also any post that tends to predict or advocate the possible outcome on social and political causes.

This move follows the ban which was already in place announced by Twitter last month. However exact details of the ban were not disclosed earlier. This Friday, Twitter explained the what it considers to be a political content.
As per Twitter, any content that references a candidate, political party, elected or government official,election, referendum, ballot measure, legislation, directive or judicial outcome. Any post that appears to contain any of the above information will be facing the wreath of Twitter ban.

Twitter said that it will be using automation as well as manual human effort to identify such content to enforce its ban.

Social media is already becoming the main source of any king of campaign including the elections. Acknowledging the fact that the campaign for the upcoming elections are already on plate, Twitter was able to sense the growing pressure on social media to stop sharing and accelerating the ads that might contain false or malicious information.
The ban is expected to take off on 22nd Nov post elections.

However on this ban, there are differing opinions from different political circles. While some feel that this a way to silence the political conversations and honest opinion. While some others did appreciate that move but also said that social media platforms should take more steps to stop incorrect information from reaching the people. Critics have said the ban would punish lesser-known candidates taking on well-funded incumbents in local elections.

Twitter is committed to allow for any posts that spread awareness, positive thought regarding different social causes like environment protection etc.
Under the new policy for example, Sierra Club could still promote their causes, but they would not be able to single out politicians they support or target those they would like to see defeated in elections, or lobby for political outcomes.

Similarly, a group could run a gun violence awareness ad but could not call for a ban on assault weapons used in mass shootings as a ban implies legislation, Twitter said. Also any ad campaign that target any user group at state or higher level by zip-code or based on their political inclination will not be allowed.

Roy Temple, partner at digital media consultancy GPS Impact who has also worked with political ad campaigns, said that this move by Twitter CEO is a big move which does not involve any monetary loss meanwhile questioning the difficulty in implementing this policy.

Twitter said that it wants to make rules as clear as possible. It said that news publishers will be able to run ads on its platform that might have political content that does not support or go against any political topic in general.

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