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Trump Campaign Calls Twitter’s New Ban on Political Ads “Another Attempt to Silence Conservatives”

Trump Campaign Calls Twitter’s New Ban on Political Ads “Another Attempt to Silence Conservatives”

“Twitter knows President Trump has the most sophisticated online program ever known.”

Wednesday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced that the social media platform will no longer run political ads. “We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought,” Dorsey tweeted.

More from Politico:

Twitter is removing itself from the contentious tangle embroiling Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg as U.S. political campaigns prepare to spend vast sums of money on online advertising around the 2020 elections.

Spending on political advertisements overall could reach as much as $6 billion in the 2020 election cycle, according to projections from Advertising Analytics and Cross Screen Media, firms that analyze the advertising market. They predict $1.6 billion will be spent on digital video, with Facebook and Google collecting the bulk of that money.

So far, Facebook has raked in $857 million on political and issues-based advertisements since May 2018, the company has disclosed. Google and its video platform YouTube have pulled in $122 million from adds featuring politicians holding or seeking federal office during that same period. A Twitter spokesperson did not respond to a request for information on how much revenue political advertising generates for the social network. The company previously disclosed that it brought in roughly $3 million in political advertising revenue during the 2018 midterm election cycle.

Twitter’s new policy applies worldwide, not just in the U.S., and to issue ads as well as ads run by specific political campaigns.

Dorsey didn’t name Zuckerberg in his series of tweets announcing the change, which takes effect Nov. 22. But he didn’t shy away from poking holes in the defense Zuckerberg has offered of Facebook’s controversial handling of political ads.

Dorsey, for example, tweeted, “This isn’t about free expression. This is about paying for reach.” Zuckerberg gave a high-profile speech at Georgetown University two weeks back in which he cited his company’s commitment to “free expression” as the reason for allowing misleading political ads on its site.

Twitter has a history of allegedly shadow banning conservative tweeters along with a disproportionate application of user terms of service against right-leaning folks.

Let’s be real here — Democrats don’t need Twitter or ad space on the platform, not when the main stream media functions as a separate activist wing of the DNC.

Which brings us to the Trump Campaign’s official response to Dorsey’s announcement. The Trump campaign accused Twitter of engaging in  “yet another attempt to silence conservatives.”

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Comments

This is an effort to ban political chatter by Trump supporters. This will become a ban on “memes,” that is, amateur political cartoons by individuals, and if past is prologue, it will be aimed at Trump supporters, because, as everyone knows, “The Left can’t meme.”

Twitter is leveling the playing field for dumbsh!ts.

    Tom Servo in reply to Valerie. | October 31, 2019 at 8:55 am

    And proving that Twitter isn’t a “private company” that is about profit or shareholder benefit at all. Twitter is all about Political Control. Time to regulate them as a Common Carrier, or abolish them.

      Milhouse in reply to Tom Servo. | October 31, 2019 at 11:16 am

      Twitter is a private company. Whether its purpose is profit or something else is irrelevant. It uses its own servers and does not use anything belonging to the public, and its line of business is speech, so Congress has no authority to regulate it in any way, any more than it can regulate a newspaper, or cable television. Congress certainly can’t “abolish” it.

        iconotastic in reply to Milhouse. | October 31, 2019 at 11:57 am

        It would seem to me that the officers and BoD are liable for a lawsuit for failure in their fiduciary duty to the Company. After all, turning away this much money cannot possibly help shareholders maintain/increase value.

          thalesofmiletus in reply to iconotastic. | October 31, 2019 at 1:15 pm

          Minority shareholder lawsuit.

          Milhouse in reply to iconotastic. | October 31, 2019 at 2:45 pm

          Yes, if the minority shareholders don’t agree, they could try suing. I’d have thought Dick’s was a far better target, since the CEO admitted that the board knew their anti-gun stance was a money-loser, and certainly the deliberate destruction of their stock ought to be something an objecting minority could sue for. But if they can’t do even that then the prospects don’t look good here.

          Milhouse in reply to iconotastic. | October 31, 2019 at 2:46 pm

          And that’s assuming the minority shareholders don’t agree with the policy. They may very well like it.

It will be interesting to note what ads they consider political, especially when it comes to issues.

The left generally consider their own issue positions to be simple fact and not at all political…

Same crap they always do.

LGBTQIFSHTLFOVL ads are allowed because they aren’t political, they’re ‘human rights’.

‘Fact checks’ will be allowed because they aren’t ‘political’.

Climate change crap will be allowed because ‘science isn’t political’.

Any attempt to answer any of them will be banned as political.

So by “earned”, he means they’ll be promoting the left and suppressing the right.

Is it only PAID advertising? Or are they going to use some convoluted “Thing of value” standard. For example, if I make a pro PDJT meme and post it to twitter, will they consider it as “free” advertising that *would* have cost X amount of dollars, therefor banned speech? We are entering very dangerous waters here, this is NOT the America I grew up in.

theduchessofkitty | October 31, 2019 at 12:27 am

Twitter can go to Hell.

In other words, Trump has owned them so many times, they have to shut it down.

It’s called tapping out.

Trump’s success is the Nit-Twitter’s burden. That said, politics is notoriously a many tentacled thing.

Time for Trump to change platforms? Think what THAT would do to Twitter’s stock price.

    Exactly, time for Trump to move to gab. Although I don’t know if gab can handle the new volume.

      I tried gab once. The very first thing I saw there was a plethora of neonazi and white supremacist messages, right in the open and prominent. I did not go looking for them, they were there, being pushed at me. I understand that gab does not censor its users, and unfortunately that has to include these vermin, but their presence and prominence makes it a toxic place. Maybe once enough decent people have joined to drown them out it will be a usable forum.

We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought

He sounds confused. Messages don’t have to “earn” anyone’s approval, not even his.

It’s votes which should be earned, not bought.

Now what happens if a Candidate is blocked or banned? Since they can’t purchase space is it an in-kind contribution to the opposing candidates?

What about patriotic ads? At what point does something become political? What about “News”, especially FakeNews about a politician?

    Milhouse in reply to tz. | October 31, 2019 at 11:25 am

    Now what happens if a Candidate is blocked or banned? Since they can’t purchase space is it an in-kind contribution to the opposing candidates?

    No, it isn’t. There’s no way it can be, since by definition a contribution requires a contributor, a recipient, and an act of transfer from the first to the second.

      Barry in reply to Milhouse. | October 31, 2019 at 6:24 pm

      “Now what happens if a Candidate is blocked or banned? Since they can’t purchase space is it an in-kind contribution to the opposing candidates?”

        Barry in reply to Barry. | October 31, 2019 at 6:30 pm

        LOL, I didn’t hit submit…

        There are many legal minds that suggest it is a contribution. If I allow one party to purchase add space and deny the other it is a contribution.

        1934 Communications act:
        “If any licensee shall permit any person who is a legally qualified candidate for any political office to use a broadcasting station, he shall afford equal opportunities to all other such candidates for that office in the use of such broadcasting station.”

        It’s 1934 so not internet, twiiter, or facebook. But the intent is quite clear. Just search “The Equal Time Rule”.

          Milhouse in reply to Barry. | October 31, 2019 at 8:15 pm

          As usual, you lie through your lying teeth. You really are a piece of work.

          No, there are no honest legal minds who could possibly suggest that there can be a contribution without actually contributing anything. Refusing to sell ones services to one candidate cannot be construed as a contribution to any other candidate. (Now selling ones services to a preferred candidate at a discounted rate could possibly be construed that way. But that’s not what we’re discussing.)

          The 1934 Act covers only broadcast media. It cannot apply to any other form of communication, whether newspapers, internet, cable TV, or anything else that does not use public resources. Congress lacks the authority to regulate those.

          Barry in reply to Barry. | October 31, 2019 at 9:27 pm

          “It’s 1934 so not internet, twiiter, or facebook. But the intent is quite clear. Just search “The Equal Time Rule”.”

          You ignorant buffoon, I made it very clear it was an act passed in 1934 prior to the internet. I did not say it absolutely applied, only that the intent was clear as to this section of the act. I am honest about it while you give a dishonest answer not noting that there are those that think otherwise.

          “It cannot apply to any other form of communication, whether newspapers, internet, cable TV, or anything else that does not use public resources.”

          The internet can be construed to be as much a public resource as radio waves. Radio requires no more, probably less, public involvement than the internet. In fact the internet as used in a national defense capacity probably makes it as much a public resource as radio waves.

          You are short sighted and ignorant of the law and how it might conceivably be applied.

          Milhouse in reply to Barry. | November 1, 2019 at 1:30 am

          You are an ignorant buffoon and liar, and call others what you are. The 1934 act is not relevant. It makes no difference whatsoever what Congress’s intent was in passing it, because it has no relevance to the current topic. Congress has the power to regulate broadcast media only because the broadcast spectrum is a public resource. This has nothing to do with any “public involvement”. The spectrum legally belongs to the public because it is a limited natural resource. Nobody built it. It’s just there, and there’s only so much of it, so the government claimed it.

          The internet is a private resource; it is not limited, it is not natural, and it belongs to the people on whose servers it runs. The fact that it is useful for defense is no more relevant than the fact that your house could be used for defense; it’s still yours, not the public’s, and if the public need it they will have to requisition it from you and compensate you for it. In the meantime it belongs to you, and the internet belongs to its owners. (ARPANET is decades in the past.)

          Thus Congress has no authority to regulate it. An Equal Time law applied to it would be unconstitutional and would be struck down in a minute.

I’m wondering if this will open twitter to discrimination lawsuits. I read a great article about how social media platforms only escape direct legal responsibility for the content published on their web sites if they act as completely neutral parties who take no editorial action against content published on their web sites unless prompted to by a formal complaint.

However, I’m wondering if Twitter’s subjective new policy passes muster with certain other laws–specifically Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which acts as a safe harbor for “information content providers” from the content published on their platforms, but only so long as those providers do not actively censor content on their platforms. Otherwise, those platforms are not “information content providers”, but “publishers” who are liable for all the content on their sites.

    forksdad in reply to Moon Battery. | October 31, 2019 at 8:31 am

    That’s the theory but nobody enforces that rule. Instead of Ma Bell or the Western Union telegraph they act like the classified section of Pravda. If Pravda had a classified section.

    Milhouse in reply to Moon Battery. | October 31, 2019 at 11:39 am

    I’m wondering if this will open twitter to discrimination lawsuits.

    No, because they’re not discriminating on any of the prohibited bases. They’re not discriminating on the basis of race, or sex, or religion, or age over 40, or disability, or even sexual orientation in those jurisdictions where that’s not allowed. There are a few places where discrimination on the basis of political opinion is also illegal, but even if they’re in such a place I doubt they could be sued for this because it would conflict with the first amendment.

    I read a great article about how social media platforms only escape direct legal responsibility for the content published on their web sites if they act as completely neutral parties who take no editorial action against content published on their web sites unless prompted to by a formal complaint.

    I’m sure you did read such an article, but the author was full of sh*t and misstated the law, either out of ignorance or malice. Interactive Computer Services operate under section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which explicitly allows them to remove content other people put on their servers “that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected”, without thereby becoming liable for what they don’t remove. There is absolutely no requirement or expectation that the provider will be neutral.

    This comment section that we are using now is an Interactive Computer Service under the terms of the Act, and it exists only because the CDA allows Prof Jacobson and his moderators to remove any comment they don’t like without becoming liable for everything else. If not for that law he would either have to close commenting, or else hire someone to moderate all comments in advance, and carefully consider what to allow up. It should be obvious that he is under no obligation to be politically neutral when moderating comments.

    Milhouse in reply to Moon Battery. | October 31, 2019 at 2:40 pm

    Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which acts as a safe harbor for “information content providers” from the content published on their platforms, but only so long as those providers do not actively censor content on their platforms. Otherwise, those platforms are not “information content providers”, but “publishers” who are liable for all the content on their sites.

    Sorry, I was in a rush earlier and had no time to reply to this paragraph. It is nonsense. It directly contradicts the CDA, and whoever told you this has either never bothered reading it, or else lied to you.

“We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought.”

That doesn’t even make any sense, throughout all of history, ads were paid for, they weren’t ‘earned’.

    Milhouse in reply to rdmdawg. | October 31, 2019 at 11:41 am

    You may disagree with it, but it does make sense. It’s perfectly coherent. It doesn’t contradict itself or any known fact. If this is what he believes, then fine.

What specifically are the rules to “earn” space for messages.

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