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Tech & Science Twitter tightens bans on political ads and causes ahead of 2020 U.S. election

00:35  16 november  2019
00:35  16 november  2019 Source:   reuters.com

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Twitter said it will use a combination of automated technology and human teams to enforce the new ad policies . The move comes as campaigns for the 2020 presidential election heat up amid growing pressure on social media companies to stop accepting ads that spread false information and could

Twitter to ban all political ads ahead of 2020 election . Dorsey said the company would share more details about the policy on November 15th and would stop accepting political ads on November 22nd.

a hand holding a cellphone: FILE PHOTO: The Twitter App loads on an iPhone in this illustration photograph© Reuters/Mike Blake FILE PHOTO: The Twitter App loads on an iPhone in this illustration photograph

By Sheila Dang and Paresh Dave

(Reuters) - Twitter Inc on Friday said its political advertising ban will include references to political candidates or legislation, and it will not allow ads that advocate for a certain outcome on social and political causes.

The popular social media site, which first announced its political ads ban last month, had not previously provided details on the new policy. On Friday, it said it will define political content as anything that references "a candidate, political party, elected or appointed government official, election, referendum, ballot measure, legislation, regulation, directive, or judicial outcome."

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Twitter , reacting to growing concern about misinformation spread on social media, is banning all political advertising from Zuckerberg stood by the company' s decision to run unchecked political ads and denied that the choice is financially motivated, saying such ads make

Misleading political ads on social media burst into the spotlight during the 2016 presidential election , when Russian agents took out Twitter currently only allows certified campaigns and organizations to run political ads for candidates and issues. The latter tend to advocate on broader issues such as

Twitter said it will use a combination of automated technology and human teams to enforce the new ad policies.

The move comes as campaigns for the November 2020 presidential election heat up amid growing pressure on social media companies to stop accepting ads that spread false information and could sway elections.

"We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought," Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey said in announcing the ban.

Rival Facebook Inc , saying it did not want to stifle political speech, has refused calls from some politicians and others to follow Twitter's lead, and said it would not vet political ads for misleading claims on its site.

The ban is expected to take effect on Nov. 22.

Brad Parscale, campaign manager for U.S. President Donald Trump's re-election bid, in a statement called the move, "yet another attempt to silence conservatives, since Twitter knows President Trump has the most sophisticated online program ever known."

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Twitter , reacting to growing concern about misinformation spread on social media, is banning all political advertising from its service. Its move strikes a sharp contrast with Facebook, which continues to defend running paid political ads , even false ones, as a free speech priority. "While internet.

Political advertising makes up a small sliver of Twitter ' s overall revenue. The company does not break out specific figures each quarter, but said Critics have called on Facebook to ban all political ads . These include CNN chief Jeff Zucker, who recently called the company' s policy of allowing lies

Bill Russo, deputy communications director for former Vice President Joe Biden's presidential campaign, said in a statement that he appreciates Twitter will not allow "disproven smears" to appear in ads, but said social media companies had more work to do to ensure their sites are not rife with disinformation.

"We look forward to seeing how the policy works in practice and intend to hold Twitter to its word," he said.

Twitter will allow companies and advocacy groups to run ads that promote awareness and discussion about social causes, such as environmental protection. But they will not be allowed to push for a political or legislative change, especially if they are advocating for something that benefits their business, Del Harvey, vice president of trust and safety, said in a conference call on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: Stickers bearing the Facebook logo are pictured at Facebook Inc's F8 developers conference in San Jose© Reuters/Stephen Lam FILE PHOTO: Stickers bearing the Facebook logo are pictured at Facebook Inc's F8 developers conference in San Jose

Under the new policy for example, Sierra Club could still promote their causes, but they would not be able to single out politicians they support or target those they would like to see defeated in elections, or lobby for political outcomes.

Twitter's political ads ban has exceptions

  Twitter's political ads ban has exceptions Issue ads will be allowed if they don't advocate for a candidate or legislation.Debate about political ads has intensified ahead of the 2020 US elections. Twitter's move contrasts with that of Facebook , which argues that banning political ads would favor incumbents and whomever the media decides to cover. The company announced the policy changes late last month, but revealed more details about how they would work on Friday.

Political advertising makes up a small sliver of Twitter ' s overall revenue. The company does not break out specific figures each quarter, but said political ad spending for Misleading political ads on social media played a major role in Russian disinformation efforts during the 2016 presidential election .

Twitter announced it would ban all political ads ahead of the 2020 presidential election , says Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

Similarly, a group could run a gun violence awareness ad but could not call for a ban on assault weapons used in mass shootings as a ban implies legislation, Twitter said.

Ads intended to promote awareness about a cause would be allowed to target users at the state level or higher, but not by zip-code. And those advertisers will not be able to target people based on their political leanings, Twitter said.

Roy Temple, a partner at digital media consultancy GPS Impact who has worked with political campaigns, called the move "a gigantic cop-out" by Twitter's CEO that does not involve the loss of much revenue, and he questioned the difficulty of implementing the complicated policy.

"I wouldn't want to be the Twitter employee who has to make these calls and defend them,” Temple said. "Universal healthcare is a cause, but is there a bill related to that? Are you talking about the bill or the cause? How is that determined?"

Harvey said on Friday the new policies were not expected to change Twitter's fourth-quarter revenue forecast. Political ad spend for the 2018 U.S. midterm elections on Twitter was less than $3 million, the company reported.

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Twitter currently only allows certified campaigns and organizations to run political ads for candidates and issues. Federal campaigns are expected to spend the majority of advertising dollars on broadcast and cable channels during the 2020 election , according to advertising research firm

Twitter Inc will ban political advertising on its platform next month, the company' s chief executive said on Wednesday, a But Facebook made a decision to not fact-check ads run by politicians, drawing ire from Democratic candidates running in the 2020 presidential election such as former Vice President

Critics have said the ban would punish lesser-known candidates taking on well-funded incumbents in local elections.

If Facebook and Google - much larger players in digital advertising - were to adopt similar policies it would be "catastrophic" to down-ballot candidates who lack name recognition, said Eric Wilson, a political strategist based in Washington D.C.

"If Facebook considers eliminating things like microtargeting, that's when we would panic," Wilson said. He said the platform has been the best vehicle for raising grassroots support, and a similar ban could hurt candidates that do not accept large donations from corporations and political action committees (PACs).

Twitter said it sought to make its new rules as clear as possible. But other major tech companies, including Facebook and Alphabet Inc's Google, have had widely publicized struggles to moderate the vast amount of content uploaded to their sites.

News publishers that meet certain criteria will continue to be able to run ads on Twitter that reference political content, but they cannot advocate for or against a political topic.

(Reporting by Sheila Dang; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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The search giant also says it will ban deepfakes and "demonstrably false" claims in ads.The search giant also spelled out clearer guidelines on what kinds of ads are prohibited from its platforms. The company said "deepfakes," or digitally doctored images and videos, aren't allowed. Google is also banning "demonstrably false claims that could significantly undermine participation or trust in an electoral or democratic process." The company noted, though, that it's difficult to judge every claim or insinuation made in an ad.

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