Tag Archives: Jack Dorsey

How social media sites handle political ads

Online platforms including Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s Google face growing pressure to stop carrying political ads that contain false or misleading claims ahead of the U.S. presidential election.

In the United States, the Communications Act prevents broadcast stations from rejecting or censoring ads from candidates for federal office once they have accepted advertising for that political race, although this does not apply to cable networks like CNN, or to social media sites, where leading presidential candidates are spending millions to target voters in the run-up to the November 2020 election.

The following is how social media platforms have decided to handle false or misleading claims in political ads:

FACEBOOK

Facebook exempts politicians from its third-party fact-checking program, allowing them to run ads with false claims.

The policy has been attacked by regulators and lawmakers who say it could spread misinformation and cause voter suppression. Critics including Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren have also run intentionally false Facebook ads to highlight the issue.

Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has defended the company’s stance, arguing that it does not want to stifle political speech, but he also said the company was considering ways to refine the policy.

Facebook does fact-check content from political groups. The company also says it fact-checks politicians if they share previously debunked content and does not allow this content in ads.

TWITTER

Twitter Inc has banned political ads. On Friday it said this will include ads that reference a political candidate, party, election or legislation, among other limits.

The company also said it will not allow ads that advocate for a specific outcome on political or social causes.

“We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought,” said Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in a statement last month.

Some lawmakers praised the ban but critics said Twitter’s decision would benefit incumbent and hurt less well-known candidates.

Officials from the Trump campaign, which is out-spending its Democratic rivals on Facebook and Google ads, called the ban “dumb” but also said it would have little effect on the president’s strategy.

The overall political ad spend for the 2018 U.S. midterm elections on Twitter was less than $3 million, Twitter’s Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal said.

“Twitter from an advertising perspective is not a player at all. Facebook and Google are the giants in political ads,” said Steve Passwaiter, vice president of the Campaign Media Analysis Group at Kantar Media.

GOOGLE

Google and its video-streaming service YouTube prohibit certain kinds of misrepresentation in ads, such as misinformation about public voting procedures or incorrect claims that a public figure has died.

However, Google does not have a wholesale ban on politicians running false or misleading ads.

In October, when former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign asked the company to take down a Trump campaign ad that it said contained false claims, a Google spokeswoman told Reuters it did not violate the site’s policies.

YouTube has started adding links and information from Wikipedia to give users more information around sensitive content such as conspiracy theory videos, but a spokeswoman said this program does not relate to ads.

SNAP

Snap Inc allows political advertising unless the ads are misleading, deceptive or violate the terms of service on its disappearing message app Snapchat.

The company, which recently joined Facebook, Twitter and Google in launching a public database of its political ads, defines political ads as including election-related, advocacy and issue ads.

Snap does not ban “attack” ads in general, but its policy does prohibit attacks relating to a candidate’s personal life.

TIKTOK

The Chinese-owned video app popular with U.S. teenagers does not permit political advertising on the platform.

In an October blog post TikTok said that the company wants to make sure the platform continues to feel “light-hearted and irreverent.”

“The nature of paid political ads is not something we believe fits the TikTok platform experience,” wrote Blake Chandlee, TikTok’s vice president of global business solutions.

The app, which is owned by Beijing-based tech giant ByteDance, has recently come under scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers over concerns the company may be censoring politically sensitive content, and raising questions about how it stores personal data.

REDDIT

Social network Reddit allows ads related to political issues and it allows ads from political candidates at the federal level, but not for state or local elections.

It also does not allow ads about political issues, elections or candidates outside of the United States.

The company says all political ads must abide by its policies that forbid “deceptive, untrue or misleading advertising” and that prohibit “content that depicts intolerant or overly contentious political or cultural topics or views.”

LINKEDIN

LinkedIn, which is owned by Microsoft Corp, banned political ads last year. It defines political ads as including “ads advocating for or against a particular candidate or ballot proposition or otherwise intended to influence an election outcome.”

Search engine Bing, which is also owned by Microsoft, does not allow ads with political or election-related content.

PINTEREST

Photo-sharing site Pinterest Inc also banned political campaign ads last year.

This includes advertising for political candidates, political action committees (PACs), legislation, or political issues with the intent to influence an election, according to the site’s ads policy.

“We want to create a positive, welcoming environment for our Pinners and political campaign ads are divisive by nature,” said Pinterest spokeswoman Jamie Favazza, who told Reuters the decision was also part of the company’s strategy to address misinformation.

TWITCH

A spokeswoman for Twitch told Reuters the live-streaming gaming network does not allow political advertising.

The site does not strictly ban all issue-based advertising but the company considers whether an ad could be seen as “political” when it is reviewed, the spokeswoman said.

Twitch, which is owned by Amazon.com Inc, is primarily a video gaming platform but also has channels focused on sports, music and politics. In recent months, political candidates such as U.S. President Donald Trump and Senator Bernie Sanders have joined the platform ahead of the 2020 election.

REUTERS

Twitter CEO meets with Tech Entrepreneurs in Lagos

Photo credit: Jack Dorsey on Twitter

CEO of the popular social media application , Twitter, Jack Dorsey on Friday met with tech entrepreneurs at Co-creation Hub (CcHUB) in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos State.

Sharing pictures from the meeting on his verified handle, Jack posted “Talking with the entrepreneurs of  @Cc_HUB!”

Jack had earlier announced his arrival in Nigeria on Thursday evening with the post, “So grateful to finally be in Nigeria”.

He was earlier hosted to a welcome dinner on Thursday, where he met with media personality, Tolu Oniru-Demuren, popularly called Toolz, former government official, Dr. Joe Abah among others.

Arriving with other Twitter executives, Dorsey will be in Africa for the whole of November to meet with local entrepreneurs in the continent.

Recall that Dorsey posted a tweet regarding his visit last month — saying Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa are the countries he plans to visit during his time in Africa.

CcHub one of Africa’s biggest hubs has become a hub to reckon with across Africa. Recall that in his first trip to Sub-Saharan Africa, the Facebook CEO also visited the hub which has acquired Kenya’s iHub for an undisclosed fee.

 

Twitter CEO Stirred up storm in India, Over “smash Brahminical patriarchy” Poster Inscription

 

 

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey

 

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has kicked up a social media storm in India after a picture of him holding a poster saying “smash Brahminical patriarchy”, referring to the highest Hindu caste, went viral.

Twitter has apologized and expressed regret over the incident, which some Indians have called “hate-mongering”.

The picture, posted on Twitter on Sunday by a journalist who was part of group of women journalists, activists and writers whom Dorsey met during a visit to India last week, had him clutching a poster of a woman holding up a banner with the line that has offended many Indians.

“The sentiments expressed on the poster do not reflect the views of Twitter as a company or Jack as the CEO, and we regret that this picture has detracted from an otherwise insightful trip to India,” a Twitter spokeswoman told Reuters via email on Tuesday.

She said Twitter had hosted a closed-door discussion and one of the participants had shared her experience as a low-caste Dalit woman. At the conclusion of the session she gifted the poster to the Twitter CEO.

Several prominent Indians, including T.V. Mohandas Pai, a former finance chief of software exporter Infosys, accused Dorsey of “hate-mongering” against Brahmins.

“Tomorrow if @jack is given a poster with anti-Semitic messages in a meeting, will his team allow him to hold it up?,” Pai tweeted. “Why is that any different? Inciting hate against any community is wrong.”

Twitter India said on Monday the poster had been handed to Dorsey by a Dalit activist when it hosted the discussion with a group of women to know more about their experience using Twitter.

It added the poster was a “tangible reflection of our company’s efforts to see, hear, and understand all sides of important public conversations that happen on our service around the world”.

Late on Monday, Vijaya Gadde, legal, policy and trust and safety lead at Twitter, who accompanied Dorsey to India, apologized.

“I’m very sorry for this. It’s not reflective of our views. We took a private photo with a gift just given to us – we should have been more thoughtful,” she said in a tweet.

“Twitter strives to be an impartial platform for all. We failed to do that here & we must do better to serve our customers in India.”

Twitter, whose monthly active users globally averaged 326 million in the July-September quarter, does not disclose the number of its users in India but its executives say the country is one of its fastest-growing areas.

Its use is expected to increase further in coming months as political parties in the country of 1.3 billion try to expand their reach to voters ahead of a general election due by May.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with 44.4 million followers, is a Twitter enthusiast.

“I enjoy being on this medium, where I’ve made great friends and see every day the creativity of people,” Modi tweeted last week after meeting Dorsey in New Delhi.

REUTERS