After Facebook said it would not fact-check political advertising, Twitter’s CEO announced that they would ban all forms of political advertising on their platform, taking a completely different stance on the issue, than Facebook’s stance.
The announcement immediately became partisan with the Trump campaign blasting Twitter and Democratic candidates for President applauding the decision.
Twitter only has a small piece of the pie when it comes to political ad spending. A majority of the digital ad spending from political campaigns goes to Facebook, with its sophisticated demographic and psycho-graphic targeting.
Although Facebook runs a live-video service, it is not considered a broadcaster as defined by the F.C.C. Neither is YouTube. Social media was exempt from Federal Election Commission disclosure laws, which require political advertisements to state who is paying for them, until December, 2017. The Honest Ads Act, first introduced in Congress, in 2017 aimed to require social media platforms to meet disclosure laws. It was blocked by Senate Republicans in October 2019.
Which is why it has been so much easier for political campaigns to run exaggerated or factually ambiguous ads on social media as opposed to on television or radio.
Why it’s hot: Political advertising on social media is not as regulated (financial disclosure laws, fact-checking) by the government as it is on TV or radio, making it much easier to run disinformation campaigns on such platforms (precise demographic targeting makes it even more appealing).