Twitter Bans Political Ads; Good Or Bad For Free Speech?

Can political charade really be banned?

Photo by Kon Karampelas on Unsplash

I honestly don’t like talking politics. There are so many negative emotions associated with it. If there is an industry that has been ravaged by destructive marketing techniques, it is politics.

And this didn’t begin today or in 2016. It has been that way for as long as the democratic system has existed. It is just for a politician to make a large percentage of the public blame their failure in life on a politician. And unfortunately, it works every single time.

Twitter is my favorite social media platform and I’m glad to see them step up. However, this step is a little disturbing.

In recent times, Twitter has taken its fight against misleading and disturbing content serious. But there have been casualties from this also. For example, one of my friends tweeted something in the line of “shooting your shot” which meant asking your crush out. But apparently it spiked the Twitter algorithm for violence and crimes. His account was suspended and he never got it back.

Also, there have been cases of popular people having their accounts suspended because they expressed certain unpopular views that (probably) violates the Twitter policy. Some said there was a bias towards certain groups. But Twitter handled themselves quite well despite all that, unlike some other platforms.

Twitter CEO cites the lack of proper regulation of political messages across media platforms has made it difficult to filter what is true and what is misleading. But now that there will be no paid political ads, what about each candidate’s voice? Will that be censored too?

What about those who are political activists on Twitter? What about those politically motivated to tweet? What about the random jabbings on Twitter? What about calling out the wrong message impression? What about campaign accounts?

Now, the elephant in the room. Everybody knows Twitter is the stronghold of the Trump campaign. Is this an effort to systematically silence it? If Facebook and other social media networks do not follow in the steps of Twitter, this will remain a probable argument. My guess is that no other media platform will do the same.

However, Jack, CEO of Twitter, has been firm and clear on the grounds he stands. He has stayed away from the political charade to the best of his ability. His platform has been at the forefront of compliance and holding Twitter to the highest possible standard among other platforms.

In fact, his support for bitcoin makes him way different from Facebook’s Mark. Mark wanted to create his own cryptocurrency, Jack thought of (and implemented) embracing bitcoin. This difference in the school of thought is what I believe makes Twitter a much more quality platform than Facebook.

As long as individual voices are not silenced, campaign accounts are not suspended, and only political promotions are killed, then free speech is safe. However, no one knows that for sure until the implementation begins.

One of the reasons I frequent Twitter is to see political debates. Twitter remains one of the very few places in the world where you can see the argument from both sides. I think the platform can create a spinoff app that compares true facts from both sides of the aisle in every trending argument. I believe Twitter ought to make much more money than Facebook. But it won’t be with the ads model.

I expect politics Twitter to remain on fire and the removal of political promotions should make the platform user experience more interesting.

It is too early to tell the exact motives of the political ad ban. But I hope it is a good thing for the world.

I rest my case

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