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Jack Dorsey Just Said No to Political Ads on Twitter
By: CNN
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Twitter (TWTR) will stop accepting political ads, the company's CEO, Jack Dorsey, announced Wednesday.

"We've made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought," Dorsey tweeted.

"A political message earns reach when people decide to follow an account or retweet. Paying for reach removes that decision, forcing highly optimized and targeted political messages on people. We believe this decision should not be compromised by money," he added.

Twitter's chief financial officer, Ned Segal, tweeted Wednesday that the company made less than $3 million from political ads in the 2018 cycle.
"This decision was based on principle, not money," he said.

The announcement comes amid intense scrutiny of Silicon Valley's handling of political ads. Social media companies, particularly Facebook, have been criticized for allowing politicians to run false ads.
Dorsey's comments puts him at odds with senior Facebook (FB) executives, including Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, who have vigorously defended Facebook's policy of not fact-checking political ads.

Zuckerberg reiterated his stance on political advertising on Wednesday, highlighting how Facebook and Twitter have diverged.
 
Without directly addressing Dorsey's announcement, Zuckerberg opened Facebook's third quarter earnings call by saying "we need to be careful about adopting more and more rules" surrounding political speech.

"In a democracy, I don't think it's right for private companies to censor politicians or the news," he said. Zuckerberg added that he will "continue" to evaluate whether it is beneficial to allow political ads on Facebook, but that so far he has concluded that permitting political advertising is the better choice.
 
Political advertising will account for less than 0.5 percent of next year's revenue, Zuckerberg said on the call, suggesting that despite the media controversy over Facebook's policies, the company benefits little financially from the stance. On Wednesday, Facebook reported quarterly advertising revenues of $17.38 billion, up 28 percent over the same period last year.

In a speech in Washington D.C. earlier this month, Zuckerberg said, "Given the sensitivity around political ads, I've considered whether we should stop allowing them altogether. From a business perspective, the controversy certainly isn't worth the small part of our business they make up. But political ads are an important part of voice — especially for local candidates, up-and-coming challengers, and advocacy groups that may not get much media attention otherwise. Banning political ads favors incumbents and whoever the media covers."



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