Media Cause Hot Takes: Twitter Bans Political Ads
On Wednesday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced via his personal Twitter profile that the social media platform would be banning all advertisements about political candidates, elections and even hot button issues, such as immigration and abortion.
This is a major shift away from other platforms, namely Facebook and Google, who have defended their policies around political ads, especially in recent weeks.
So what does this mean for the nonprofit industry, and do gooders alike? The full impact is yet to be revealed, but there is no doubt it will reshape how issues are advocated for (or against) over the next year.
Some of our agency folks weighed in:
“I’m super proud of Twitter for doing the right thing for society, even when it hurts their revenue. This change emphasizes the need for good community management and creative ideas, which is something we strive to do for our clients everyday. Now Twitter just needs to ban political bots and suppress political content that crosses borders and stop letting politicians violate their terms of service.” – Eric Facas, CEO
“The acknowledgement that they created something that they aren’t clear how it affected democracy is powerful. I hope this leads to a larger dialogue with more stakeholders in our democratic institution. It’s the right thing to do — it’s not about paying for reach, it’s about paying for attention, and that attention should be directed towards maintaining an active public to willfully participate in democracy, instead of trying to coerce or just plain lie.” – Cody Damon, Co-Founder
“This is a brave and fair decision by Dorsey, and one that is bound to change the game for 2020 elections. Nonprofits will need to be nimble and strategic in how to navigate these new policies in the year to come, and think creatively about how to educate the public on important issues so they can make informed decisions when they go to the polls. We’re always here to help.” – Katey Parker, Group Account Director
“I personally agree and am very happy with Twitter’s move to ban all political ads on its platform. Unless social media companies are going to invest in building a robust system to vet, verify and immediately address false or misleading election-related ads, they shouldn’t run them at all.” – Ian Gardiner, Account Director
“It’s refreshing to see tech take a stand for organic over pay-to-play. People like to talk about social as a democratic organ, where everyone can have their say (think: Arab Spring). But that democratic function gets overridden when money is the differentiator between what you see and what you don’t, regardless of truth. This is a communications challenge to lean into — so time to get creative.” – Clara Campbell, Senior Account Strategist, Advocacy-Focus