Top Republican McConnell Says Twitter Ban on Political Ads Undermines Free Speech

Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo/Reuters

U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said on Wednesday Twitter’s argument behind its recent decision to ban political advertisements boiled down to the same “misunderstandings” that he said have been used to undermine free speech in the past.

Speaking on the floor of the Senate, McConnell said Twitter’s logic that the reach of political messages should be earned and not bought through advertising, “quickly gives way to an arbitrary process of picking winners and losers in the competition of ideas.”

Last month, Twitter announced the ad ban that would be effective from November, winning praise from Democrats and scorn from Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Social media companies, including Twitter rival Facebook Inc face growing pressure to stop carrying ads that spread false information that could steer elections.

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has defended his company’s policy of running ads from politicians containing false or misleading claims, saying Facebook did not want to stifle political speech.

Brad Parscale, who is running Trump’s re-election campaign, described Twitter’s move as an “attempt to silence conservatives” and “a very dumb decision” for the company’s shareholders.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Bernadette Baum)

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Phyllis Softa
Member

If you want to see just how intellectually challenged Brad Parscale believes Trump supporters are, the clue is in his assertions that Twitter not accepting political ads is an “attempt to silence conservatives” and a “very dumb decision” for the shareholders. Only R candidates place political ads?? Twitter is only not accepting ads from R’s?? AS REPORTED ON IJR, political ads made up 2% of Twitters revenue. Considering what the company would need to spend to assure the ad was NOT being placed by a foreign entity intending to influence the election, it appears to be a SOUND business decision.… Read more »

Larry Merritt
Guest
Larry Merritt

Intelligence Committee? Closer to a flock of Fools.

Paul
Member

Mitch, Mitch, poor Mitch, the only speech out of your mouth is ridiculous. Please take a (too late) retirement and re-discover your turtle shell in a nice reclining chair.

James
Member

Who cares? After a Socialist/Communist is elected, EVERYTHING will be FREE; except speech. Not to forget Americans will lose their Constitutional Rights and Freedoms as well and we’ll all be marching in lockstep behind an elitist dictator – Warren?; Biden?; Mayor Butthead?

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