No More Political Ads on Twitter 

 

Twitter is planning to ban all political advertising worldwide. 

 

According to Twitter, 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,” the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company, Jack Dorsey, tweeted.

 

Social media rival, Facebook, recently ruled out a ban on political adverts.

 

News of the ban divided America’s political camps for the 2020 election.

 

Manager of President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, Brad Parscale, said the ban was “yet another attempt by the left to silence Trump and conservatives.”

 

But Spokesman for the campaign to elect Democratic front-runner Joe Biden, Bill Russo, said: “When faced with a choice between ad dollars and the integrity of our democracy, it is encouraging that, for once, revenue did not win out.”

 

Twitter’s ban will be enforced from 22 November, with full details released by 15 November.

 

Mr Dorsey in explanation in a thread of tweets said, internet political adverts, presented “entirely new challenges to civic discourse.”

 

These challenges, he said, included “machine learning-based optimisation of messaging,” “micro-targeting, unchecked misleading information, and deep fakes.”

 

“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!'”

 

Countering the argument that the new policy might be seen as favouring leaders already in office, he pointed out that “many social movements reach massive scale without any political advertising.”

 

“Adverts in support of voter registration would not be affected by the ban,” he added.

 

 

Meanwhile, Mr Dorsey will visit Ghana next month as part of a four-nation tour of the continent.

 

He will also visit Ethiopia, Nigeria and South Africa.

 

Making the announcement on his twitter page he said he will spend the time with entrepreneurs.

 

Although he did not give details about his tour itinerary, he noted that he will spend the entire month of November in the four countries.

 

This will be the first time the 42-year-old internet entrepreneur is visiting Ghana.

 

There are suggestions that he is looking to make a major investment on the continent following a similar action by Facebook boss, Mark Zuckerberg, in 2016 when he visited Nigeria and Kenya and made an over $20 million investment in Andela.

 

Twitter was launched in 2006 and rapidly gained worldwide popularity.

 

In 2012, more than 100 million users posted 340 million tweets a day and a year after that it emerged as one of the top-ten most visited websites in the world.

 

In 2018, it was estimated that some 9.2 million Ghanaians were said to have access to mobile internet and a huge number of them are ardent social media users.

 

Internet penetration in Ghana is quite high with more new users getting connected every day.

 

 

 

Story: News DESK

 

 

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