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Why Twitter’s ban on political ads is a huge mistake



Why Twitters ban on political ads is a huge mistake

Today, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced the platform (and we use this term loosely) will no longer accept political ads of any kind, whether from a candidate or a cause. This is a terrible mistake. They’re opening themselves up to alternative methods of promotion on Twitter, methods they’ve been attempting to stifle. Now, the floodgates will open on artificial promotion of political Tweets.

BREAKING: Twitter to stop all political advertisements – The Post Millennial CEO Jack Dorsey released a statement on Twitter, giving his reasons for why his platform would not allow paid political advertising.

One of the reasons he gave was that, “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.”

Twitter’s CEO believes political advertising can influence votes to affect millions of lives.

There are many services out there that sell retweets. These dastardly services are designed to artificially inflate the popularity of Tweets, and as Twitter puts in place ways of preventing them, the cheaters invariably find new ways to cheat. This is going to increase dramatically based on Twitter’s decision because one thing is certain about politics: Money is going to be used to get the message out whether through proper channels like advertising or improper channels like buying retweets.

A friend I used to work with in my days in digital marketing reached out to me following the announcement. He wondered if I had any clients who would be interested in his Twitter services. The biggest reason I left the industry in the first place was because of the corruption inherent to getting eyeballs on messages. It may have been silly for me to get into politics to avoid corruption, but I’ve never looked back. This friend was disappointed in my choice, but gloated about how he had already heard from two PACs and a candidate’s campaign following the announcement.

Here are Dorsey’s Tweets on the matter:

One thing Dorsey noted is that this will unfairly benefit incumbents, many of whom already have reach into their respective cities, counties, districts, states, or the nation. He is correct. It will be difficult for a new candidate without a preexisting Twitter following to get the word out to the masses on the platform. But that’s a price Dorsey is willing to pay even if it’s going to do more harm than good.

I, for one, believe paying for exposure on Twitter through ads is more honorable than paying for exposure by gaming the system. Twitter seems to think otherwise.

At the end of the day, this is simply a way for Twitter to exclude themselves from the criticism that’s already hitting Facebook and YouTube. It’s their decision to make, but let’s no confuse this with a conscientious decision for fairness. It’s about avoiding headaches.

Update: The Trump campaign responded to the news.

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