Twitter will no longer accept political ads; gauntlet thrown to Facebook

In an implicit swipe at the FaceBook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s position on running false political ads on Facebook, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced on Wednesday the company would no longer accept political ads.

Steve Kovach for CNBC:

It’s hard to think of a better way for Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to poke Mark Zuckerberg in the eye than announcing a rebuttal to his controversial stance on political advertising just minutes ahead of Facebook’s earnings call.

On Wednesday, Dorsey announced that Twitter would no longer allow political advertising globally. That includes campaign ads from political candidates and issues-based ads on topics like climate change or abortion. The move came just weeks after Facebook said it would not block false political advertising, arguing that it would violate its mission to promote free speech, even paid free speech.

Dorsey’s Machiavellian move didn’t mention Facebook or Zuckerberg by name, but it was clear who he was calling out… This problem is far too messy and complex to fix now. Instead, Twitter is over-correcting the problem by nuking political ads from its service until a better solution to keep everything in check presents itself later. People will still be able to post whatever they want on Twitter, but they can’t pay Twitter to target and amplify a potentially misleading political message.

MacDailyNews Take: Ooh, it’s a war among culture corrosives!


  1. On the social slime scale, Jack Dorsey is 9/10. Mark Zuckerberg is a 10. At least Dorsey is doing ‘something’, but not because he has suddenly developed a conscience. He knows Twitter helped made things as bad as they are now and he is afraid of consequences

    1. He knows Twitter helped made things as bad as they are now and he is afraid of consequences

      He should be. At least he’s doing something about it, and for once money isn’t the main underlying motivation (because they’re refusing to accept money).

      Money as “free speech” was one of the most backwards US supreme court rulings of our time (so far, anyway), enabled by a gross misinterpretation of the legal concept of corporate personhood.

  2. In a large degree EVERYTHING that comes out of the mouth of a politician, in a political ad, in a political position paper, or even a law “to solve a problem” is a lie. The only question is how big of a lie.

    It has been this way for over 300 years.

    The notion that large scale ad buying for “untrue” political ads is somehow “dangerous to our democracy” is laughable. The first thing that assumes is that the American people can’t determine BS when they see it.

    1. At least 30% of the population cannot identify BS when they see it. I offer you Goeb as living proof. He believes the nonstop lies coming from the Con, then attacks anyone who rejects the lies.

    2. LOL…

      “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

      It’s obvious that American people can’t determine BS when they see it.

      trump is solid proof of that.

    3. The new feature of lies on paid social media is that they are targeted on specific small segments. The same crooked pol can tell one set of lies to conservatives and a different, contradictory set to moderates. One set of lies can go to people who have expressed concern over taxes and a contradictory set to those concerned with inadequate services. Voters will only see the set of lies that they are predisposed to believe,, while journalists and fact-checkers may not see any lies at all. That makes it very difficult to hold the liars to account until after they have already won election.

  3. Technology did not “make things as bad as they are,” and if Facebook and Twitter are “culturally corrosive” then so are Macs and iPhones. If anything our technology exposes the flaws in culture. It does not create them.

    When the telephone first began to appear in homes, the big fear was that wives would be seduced by men over the phone, while their husbands were at work. Or worse, they would get no housework done because they were spending the day chatting with their friends. Men demanded phones with locks. Those in power always seek to control the communications of those without power.

    Blaming the technology is like blaming guns for the actions of people. It’s silly.

    All day long my Twitter streams with tech stuff, Apple tech stuff in particular. I belong to numerous discussion groups on Facebook and none of them has harmed me socially or changed who I am. If I watch television news or read mainstream newspapers I will be deluged with lies and shameless hyperbole. The highest quality news I get comes from specific Youtube journalists. Some of these guys make CNN, MSNBC, FOX, etc. look like rank amateurs. They provide content, and almost within the same breath provide sources, and remind you when they are being biased and opinionated. See if you get that from the Washington Post, CNN, or the New York Times.

    The one thing powerful people agree upon is controlling our ability to talk to one another. As Hillary Clinton put it, “Things were much easier to control back when there were only 3 networks.” This is why I agree with Zuckerberg. I’d rather have the ability to judge information directly, rather than have it censored by powerful people like Clinton.

    1. I agree that it’s censorship. This should not surprise you, but a mass media company is also held accountable for slander and libel, which FB and Twitter are not, so….

      I prefer the accountability without the censorship.

    2. Censored by a powerful person …. then you identify a hated political enemy who hasn’t held office in years and has no political power.

      Repeating propaganda spewed by your favorite college dropout talking heads on right wing media, I see.

      Technology is absolutely fooling people— it hides the money flows behind the lies and it insulates lazy people from hearing the cold hard complicated facts. Zuckerfuck, Putin, the Mercers, and the Murdochs etc have corroded society and democracy badly by leveraging communication tech. You would have to be living under a rock with Goeb and Dd and Dean Clark not to see it.

      1. Technology is fooling people? Really? Who doesn’t know that Facebook, Twitter, and Google haven’t messed around with censoring conservative speech in the past and are probably still doing it now. You know what’s going on here. I know what’s going on here, what’s the big deal? They do it, they get caught, they stop. At least for a while. This is why we don’t want them being given the push to censor people. We want them afraid to censor people.

        As far as the “college drop out,” maybe that’s exactly why he consistently performs at a higher level the mainstream media. He escaped the full indoctrination.

        As far as Clinton is concerned, she’s doing this to herself. I swear she’s got a pair of benwa balls in her hand while squirming in a chair during interviews. She like Captain Qeeg for crying out loud. She can’t keep the lies straight anymore.

    3. Censorship and ‘too much’ control is a matter of perspective. If you have the technological ability to create a new explosive in your basement, you could do it, but if you weren’t able to control it safely and endangered others, well then the government would be expected to do something about it.. and you. I think we can agree that technology is just a platform but that can make things that are dangerous. I for one am fine if it is regulated to keep us safe, and I know it would not interfere with my streams or discussion groups. When these are used to subvert fair elections by posting lies – no one should be ok with that.

  4. Everyone should know, besides being the place for the corrosive, “social validation feedback loop,” people shouldn’t trust anyone with a haircut like Zuckerberg’s.

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