Social media is set to play an incredibly large and powerful role in the 2020 election, and several of the industry’s biggest names are currently drawing their lines in the sand.
For Facebook, arguably the world’s most popular website, the approach to politics has suddenly turned “hands-off”. In previous election cycles, and continuing through today, the social media monarchy of Facebook has chosen to subvert and invalidate the conservative point of view. They achieved this through their rampant censorship of conservative news sites and citizen journalists, often without explanation or recourse.
But when it comes to paid political advertising, however, Facebook doesn’t seem to mind if a candidate blatantly lies or spreads dangerous misinformation…just so long as Mark Zuckerberg got his piece of the pie.
Twitter’s Jack Dorsey is taking a far different approach as the 2020 election looms large, and he’s taking a thinly-veiled cheap-shot at Zuckerberg in the process.
Twitter is to ban all political advertising worldwide, saying that the reach of such messages “should be earned, not bought”.
“While internet advertising is incredibly powerful and very effective for commercial advertisers, that power brings significant risks to politics,” company CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted.
Social media rival Facebook recently ruled out a ban on political ads.
Social media firms are under particular scrutiny ahead of US elections in 2020.
The ban will be enforced from 22 November, with full details released by 15 November.
Dorsey then unleashed a zinger aimed directly at his social media rivals.
“It’s not credible,” he wrote, “for us to say: ‘We’re working hard to stop people from gaming our systems to spread misleading info, buuut if someone pays us to target and force people to see their political ad…well…they can say whatever they want!'”
President Trump has been one of Twitter’s most active and popular users, and has often found himself at odds with Dorsey’s team. Will this latest ban be a weapon for Dorsey to employ against the President?
Only time will tell.