By Michael Dominguez
Twitter has decided to ban political ads for the 2020 election due to false and fake ads people create for campaign runners. What Twitter is doing is great, because it makes the election more fair.
Many people use Twitter to look for news, sports and entertainment. While doing that, it is a quick scroll and a quick read by the people they follow.
Many people can easily believe ads are created by the candidates themselves, which may cause harm to those running for president or a role in government.
Twitter users follow those that are of human interest, mainly celebrities with millions of followers, have a verification check on their usernames to tell their followers it’s their real account.
The same goes for the people in government. Their pages may be used to inform their supporters where the next campaign rally is going to be, or promote a cause they believe in and spread the word to their followers.
But many people create fake profiles with the same picture and the same name. The only difference in their usernames may only be a letter off or an added number.
People may not notice it and think it’s actually a paid ad from the person they are supporting in an election.
During the 2017 election, these fake ads and pages hurt candidate Hilary Clinton’s campaign with fake links to documents that Clinton was supposedly linked to. In the article “The Fake Americans Russia Created to Influence the Election,” it explained the leaks that were posted on Facebook and created by a fake page that looked real.
The profile picture and the bio on the account seem real, but it was a fake page created by the Russians.
Facebook believed they had stopped the account called Kremlin that paid $100,000 in ads. There was even a hashtag called #WarAgainstDemocrats that was used over 1,700 times on Twitter.
Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey presented a thread on why he has applied this rule. In one tweet, he wrote, “Internet political ads present entirely new challenges to civic discourse: machine learning-based optimization of messaging and micro-targeting, unchecked misleading information, and deep fakes. All at increasing velocity, sophistication, and overwhelming scale.”
Meanwhile, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s response was that “political speech is important.” Zuckerberg told congress in October politicians have the right to free speech on Facebook.
Facebook has not changed their ways of fact-checking and promoting ads
Twitter is doing the right thing protecting politicians and those who support them. People want a fair and clean election when picking a new leader to run the country.