Top Political Operatives Claim Twitter Ads Were ‘Shi**y, Suck’ for Campaigns Anyway

Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo/Reuters

When it comes to the latest news from the head of Twitter, top political operatives are saying it won’t make a difference in 2020 presidential campaigns.

Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey said on Wednesday that the social media platform has made the decision to halt all political advertisements globally because, as they believe, “political message reach should be earned, not bought.”

“While internet advertising is incredibly powerful and very effective for commercial advertisers, that power brings significant risks to politics, where it can be used to influence votes to affect the lives of millions,” Dorsey said, explaining the company’s move.

“These challenges will affect ALL internet communication, not just political ads. Best to focus our efforts on the root problems, without the additional burden and complexity taking money brings. Trying to fix both means fixing neither well, and harms our credibility. […] We considered stopping only candidate ads, but issue ads present a way to circumvent. Additionally, it isn’t fair for everyone but candidates to buy ads for issues they want to push. So we’re stopping these too.”

Does the change matter?

When it comes to the impact of Twitter’s policy change, it’s not clear it will make an impact on the company’s revenue with political advertisements.

Twitter CFO Ned Segal noted that the company’s decision was made based “on principle, not money.” According to Segal, the “political ad spend for the 2018 US midterms was [less than $3 million]” and there’s “no change to [their] Q4 guidance.”

Co-founder of Flex Point Media and political strategist Tim Cameron isn’t too convinced that the platform’s policy change will do any damage in either direction.

He said in a tweet, following Twitter’s announcement, that it will get “a lot of buzz, but not have a huge impact” because “their ad units suck and are ineffective.”

Noting his company has made over $50 million worth of advertisements in the past two years, he said less than $10,000 was on Twitter.

Additionally, Cameron suggested in another tweet, “Twitter was probably tired of getting questions from shareholders and advertisers asking… ‘why are both Facebook and Google getting 100x the amount of ad dollars from political organizations? Do you feel your ads perform as well as those platforms?”

IJR has reached out for further comment but has not received a response prior to publication.

Digital director for Trump’s 2020 campaign responded to Cameron, “Platform/tools v shitty too. Trump tweeting saved them.”

Top politicians have tossed their opinion into the ring

A few politicians have offered their comments regarding Twitter’s announcement, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Clinton was among those who applauded Dorsey, as she called it “the right thing to do for democracy in America and all over the world.” She then questioned Facebook on if they would follow in Twitter’s footsteps.

2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang also praised the political advertisement ban.

“It’s the rare triumph of the public good over the bottom line,” he tweeted, adding, “I hope Facebook follows suit or at least verifies and stands by the accuracy of political ads on its platform.”

2020 Democratic hopeful Beto O’Rourke’s digital director wrote on Twitter:

However, Trump’s 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale wasn’t too thrilled about the “dumb decision,” as he called it, adding it is “yet another attempt by the left to silence Trump and conservatives.”

“Wouldn’t be surprised if [Twitter] lifted the ban after 2020,” he tweeted, along with a statement.

Facebook stands firm on its political advertisement policy

Although receiving calls to follow in Twitter’s steps, Facebook seems to be set for now with their political advertisement policy.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg defended his company’s policy, as he wrote on Facebook:

“In a democracy, I don’t think it’s right for private companies to censor politicians or the news. And although I’ve considered whether we should not carry these ads in the past, and I’ll continue to do so, on balance so far I’ve thought we should continue.

[…] Some people accuse us of allowing this speech because they think all we care about is making money. That’s wrong. I can assure you, from a business perspective, the controversy this creates far outweighs the very small percent of our business that these political ads make up.”

Zuckerberg added, “The reality is that we believe deeply that political speech is important and should be able to be heard, and that’s what’s driving us.”

With Facebook’s policy, political advertisements from politicians “are generally not subjected to fact-checking.”

Check out Zuckerberg’s post below:

We just shared our community update and quarterly results. Here’s what I said on our earnings call. — Before we…

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Twitter is expected to share its new advertisement policy by November 15, and it will go into effect on November 22.

What do you think?

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WP Taylor
Member

“political message reach should be earned, not bought.”
What a meaningless statement. Twitter executives are discovering what a mess it is to give in to only one side while pretending to be evenhanded – as it becomes increasingly clear that they’re not. They are also discovering how many of their users, who attract advertisers, have believed all along that Twitter was evenhanded and want it that way, or may stop using, which means less advertising revenue.

General Confusion
Member

“Trump’s 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale wasn’t too thrilled about the “dumb decision,” as he called it, adding it is “yet another attempt by the left to silence Trump and conservatives.”” Article

Yup, got to keep THAT false narrative going, to keep the cult in-line and confused.

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