Twitter is banning all political advertising around the world, the company’s boss Jack Dorsey says.
The policy comes in on 22 November so will affect the UK general election in December.
In a series of tweets, Mr Doresy explained the decision: “We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought. Why? A few reasons…
“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.
While internet advertising is incredibly powerful and very effective for commercial advertisers, that power brings significant risks to politics, where it can be used to influence votes to affect the lives of millions.
— jack ??? (@jack) October 30, 2019
“While internet advertising is incredibly powerful and very effective for commercial advertisers, that power brings significant risks to politics, where it can be used to influence votes to affect the lives of millions.”
Mr Dorsey said internet advertising posed an evolving set of risks such as “micro-targeting, unchecked misleading information, and deep fakes”.
He said the firm would reveal the final policy by 15 November and that it will begin on 22 November.
There will be few exceptions such as “ads in support of voter registration”.
“This isn’t about free expression,” tweeted Mr Dorsey. “This is about paying for reach.
“And paying to increase the reach of political speech has significant ramifications that today’s democratic infrastructure may not be prepared to handle. It’s worth stepping back in order to address.”
Twitter’s shares were down 3% in after-hours trading as investors reacted to the news.
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