Twitter bans political ads — which side does this help? | Tech Wash


Jack Dorsey has quite
the sense of timing. Just minutes before
Facebook was set to announce its latest
set of financial results the Twitter chief
executive suddenly grabbed all the
headlines by announcing that his company will no longer
accept political advertising. Political reach, he said,
should be earned and not bought. And that decision has
refocused attention on Facebook’s stance of
accepting any political advert even if it contains
manifest falsehoods. That stance has got Mark
Zuckerberg into trouble, especially among
Democrats, who are worried that Donald Trump
is going to flood Facebook with false
claims in his adverts in the run up to 2020. But, just as interesting
as Twitter’s move was the political
reaction it garnered. Bill Russo, the deputy
communications director for Joe Biden, gave the
move a cautious welcome, saying that he was heartened
that, for once, revenue had not won out over
political integrity. But Brad Parscale, the Trump
2020 campaign director, attacked Twitter for
what it had done, calling the move, in typical
Trump campaign speak, very dumb. So why such different reactions
given that both parties will be affected by this? Well, in part, I think it’s
a reflection of a feeling here in Washington that
the Republicans have got the upper hand
over the Democrats when it comes to
digital campaigning. A lot of Democrats
I talked to are concerned that the
Trump campaign built up reams of voter data
over the last election, and has been cannier
about using it ever since. Now, each week, I
want to try and answer a question posed by one
of our readers or viewers. This week, a lot of people were
interested in the Pentagon’s decision to hand a $10bn cloud
computing contract to Microsoft rather than Amazon. And, in the comments to my
piece on this, Ron Ohio asked, is it really a good idea to
make the security of the US dependent on a single overall
cloud-based farmed out service? Well, Ron, it’s a very good
question, and one a lot of people here, both in politics
and the industry, are asking. The Pentagon, for
what it’s worth, says that after this
contract is up and running, it does intend to move to a
so-called multi-cloud vendor model. But in the last few
days, people I’ve been speaking to
think that Amazon is about to hit the
government with such a welter of legal
complaints, the DoD might just change
its mind altogether and decide to give this contract
to more than one company. Thanks very much,
Ron, for the question. And if you have a question you’d
like to ask, please enter it in the comments below.

Maurice Vega

12 Responses

  1. If you watch carefully, you can see that the computer screen was edited into the video afterwards. 🙂
    But still an interesting Video.

  2. Given the high cost of political advertisement on social media it would be wise to restrict political ads on social media should FT trigger debate on this?

  3. It won’t make any difference to Trump. The MSM gives him free publicity every single day. He doesn’t need to pay a dime

  4. Twitter like ALL social media originates for California and only exists to brainwash the gullible into supporting perversion, communism and Athesism

  5. REMOVE that idiotic sound you added every time you put a message on the screen or remove it. It is very distracting – greatly impeding me hearing your report.

    Next time, pause and think. Does this add value? Even entertainment value? Or is it removing value? Distracting = Removing Value.

  6. Even if Twitter bans political advertising, and Facebook toes the line, fake news websites and blogs need to be reined in by the Government. Can the US or any other government for that matter, do this task?

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