Political Ads on Twitter

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When President Trump promoted a Joe Biden conspiracy theory on his Twitter account, many people began to criticize social media platforms for not fact checking political advertisements shown to the public. TikTok became the first social media platform to ban these advertisements, and the pressure began to grow for the larger companies, to do something about it. On October 30, Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey announced that all political ads will be banned starting November 22. This includes all campaign ads from political candidates and ads regarding political issues such as abortion rights or climate change. In his tweet, he stated that “we [Twitter] believe that political message reach should be earned, not bought.” He also called out Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg, who announced two weeks earlier that Facebook will not be changing their policy in order to promote free speech. While many people criticized Twitter, I believe that this was a smart decision that may have unexpected implications.

First of all, this will prevent the possible influence of foreign governments in US elections. In 2016, Russians were able to create Facebook and Twitter accounts to promote fake news about Hillary Clinton. This most likely swayed many voters, as people are easily influenced by the media in today’s society. However, these fake ads will no longer be able to spread through Twitter once this policy goes into effect. Since many other smaller platforms have implemented the same policy, Facebook will most likely become a hotspot for fake news next election. Also, Mark Zuckerburg is known to be severely opposed to Elizabeth Warren, so he could further lessen Facebook’s policy on ads if she gets the nomination. 

While it may seem far-fetched, the economy could benefit from this change to Twitter. According to CNBC, investor confidence is lowered whenever they see a political ad on social media platforms. Whenever an investor sees a political ad, he/she is reminded of the current state of the government and loses trust in the country. Investor confidence is key to a healthy economy since they support small businesses and keep the stock market healthy. However, it has been declining recently due to the current political trauma in Washington. This new policy will increase the confidence of investors and could possibly delay the inevitable recession. 

Ultimately, Twitter’s new policy will increase investor confidence, prevent interference from foreign governments, and could even pressure Facebook into implementing the same policy. While Trump’s Twitter account, unfortunately, won’t be affected, people may be able to finally forget about the constant political drama in our country when they browse social media.