We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought: Jack Dorsey

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Oct 31, 2019, 09.34 PM(IST)

File photo: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Taking to Twitter, Dorsey had a very strong message for political leaders across the world. He said that "We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought."

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has made a major announcement that could have huge ramifications for the 2020 presidential elections.

Starting November 22 the social media giant will officially stop carrying political advertisements of all kinds.

Taking to Twitter, Dorsey had a very strong message for political leaders across the world. He said that "We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought."

In a series of tweets, Dorsey then went on to explain the thought process behind his decision.

He also said that the decision was not about free speech, but the negative impact on the democratic infrastructure due to the practice of paid advertisements.

The decision will be binding on both candidate ads as well as issue-based ads.

The only political advertisements that will remain on the platform are voter registration ads.

There will be more clarity on the nuances of the policy when an official statement will be released on November 15th.

The decision puts him at odds with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg who has defended his company's decision to put up unverified campaign ads.

Even during his recent testimony in front of the u.S congress, Zuckerberg defended his stance.

As per Facebook's current policy, campaign ads are not fact-checked, which means that candidates can peddle lies of the platform and not be held accountable.

Dorsey called out Zuckerberg's double standard on the issue of fake information on social media.

He said that it was not credible for his company to say it's working hard to control the spread of misinformation. And then do the same when offered money by political parties — an obvious dig aimed at the facebook founder.

Trump's 2020 campaign responded to the decision by calling it dumb.

They said the company was walking away from hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and called it an effort to muzzle conservative voices.

Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was all praise for the move, calling it the right thing for democracy across the world.

She also had a poignant question for facebook at the end of her tweet.

America's election campaigns are among the most expensive in the world. And a sizeable portion of this expenditure goes to advertising.

This is why many internet-based companies are hesitant to do what twitter has just announced.

Take a look at these numbers: 

6 billion dollars — that is how much US is likely to spend on the 2020 presidential election cycle.

Out of which 1.6 billion dollars will be spent on digital video adverts.

But the playing field is by no means fair.

Since May 2018, Facebook has raked in 857 million dollars in political ad revenue, while youtube has received 122 million dollars.

In comparison, Twitter's ad revenue during the 2018 mid-term elections was only 3 million dollars.