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Twitter Bans Political Ads, So When Will They Ban Trump?

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Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO and that first “friend” you didn’t really ask for, announced Wednesday that as of November the social media platform will no longer accept political ads that “advocate for or against legislative issues of national importance.”

Dorsey said in a tweet (of course):

“We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought.”

He goes on to say that the messaging is earned when users follow accounts or retweet posts.

It’s a step his tech bro giants have refused to take. Mark Zuckerberg recently defended political advertisements on Facebook, be they accurate or not. In an Oct. 17 Facebook Newsroom post ridiculously titled, “Mark Zuckerberg Stands for Voice and Free Expression,” the platform attempted to prop up their founder as some sort of free speech hero with highlights from a Georgetown speech given that same day. One of three points he argued was that we should “fend off the urge to define speech we don’t like as dangerous.”

That brings up an interesting point. Sometimes, speech we don’t like is concurrently dangerous and widely distributed as political propaganda free of charge. It’s easy for Twitter to ban political ads, and avoid having to vet them for accuracy, because ads are increasingly unnecessary. If we follow Dorsey’s thinking, Trump has “earned” the right to blanket the country in his incredibly inaccurate and often hate-filled messaging because he has more than 66 million followers.

Graphic courtesy of Ed Latimore.

Despite the loyal MAGA folks that will cherish him even if he does shoot someone in the street, a good chunk of Trump’s followers are only there because he is currently the president. Nearly every member of media and politically-savvy citizen follows him and it has nothing to do with what he’s “earned.” It’s a known fact that Trump spent a lot less on political ads in the 2016 race than his rivals did — he was able to do that because if he’s mastered anything in life, it’s the ability to generate free press. This time around, he has our undivided attention as the man who sits in the Oval Office.

Albeit refreshing that we won’t be bombarded with political ads on Twitter, it seems like a little Dorsey is patronizing concerned users — throwing out a bone to divert us from the fact that the platform refuses to address the hate speech and free “ads” we’re pumped through political leaders’ accounts. Let’s not fool ourselves into thinking Jack is being brave here, he just found a loophole that gives him a little temporary respite.

Case in point:

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Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Journalist, editor, student, single mom to a pack of wolves, foodie, music lover, resident smart ass, and champion of vulgarity and human kindness.