Twitter, Facebook, Google Survey Results on Political Advertising

This has been one of the biggest social media debates of this year, especially after Mark Zuckerberg's hearing and being roasted by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Twitter immediately took a stance on this by banning any political advertisements. This is a very strategic move on Jack Dorsey's end, as the amount of political spending twitter receives is miniscule when compared to that of Facebook's. This is what the employees of Twitter think.

This is the survey from employees at Twitter, Facebook and Google as to how they think it would impact the 2020 election, and if Facebook should also adapt the same policy as Twitter's

This was from an blog post by James Wagner

Comments (14)

Nov 7, 2019

I am with Bill Gates. The problem with political ads is targeting, not fact-checking.

    • 1
Nov 7, 2019

Its very surprising that, a lot of facebook employees support the facebook policy.

Sheryl Sandberg:

We're not doing it because of the money... This is less than 1% of our revenue and the revenue is not worth the controversy.

Some experts extrapolate the expected political ad spending for the upcoming 2020 election to be close to Half a Billion dollars

    • 1
Nov 7, 2019

Who wants to talk about the Russian involvement in facebook advertising for the 2016 election?

The New York Times:

Fake Russian Facebook Accounts Bought $100,000 in Political Ads

    • 1
Nov 8, 2019
BlimpBananas:

Who wants to talk about the Russian involvement in facebook advertising for the 2016 election?

The New York Times:

Fake Russian Facebook Accounts Bought $100,000 in Political Ads

I don't understand this criticism. Russia has been interfering with American elections in various ways since the Bolshevik Revolution. They were notorious for interference. Now since some trolls posted some pro-Trump/anti-Hillary fake news in 2016 it's a scandal of epic proportions? Let's just be honest about this--if Clinton had won the election, no one--at all--would be talking about Russian interference. This is all entirely because Trump won.

Most Helpful
Nov 8, 2019

Firstly, I am pretty radical about truthfulness. I have a zero tolerance policy for malicious lying. If anyone I know personally maliciously lies to me then I completely lose trust and respect for them. I am also not very good at forgiveness, for better or worse.

  • So my immediate thought is to hold Facebook (and others) to a standard of truthfulness, or at least not blatant lies. This is the standard a lot of media companies must adhere to. This just doesn't work.
  • There are multiple truths in life. There are things that are proven true (or not) over time, but may have not been apparent with the available information. There is speculation, which can turn out to be false.
  • Some things are inherently true. The law of gravity exists, the laws of thermodynamics exist. I fall back on physics to find truths in life. Even this is flawed. Quantum physics provides us with more questions than answers. Such is life I suppose.
  • Some things are inherently untrue. Obama was born in Kenya. Clean coal is good for the environment. Mexican farmers are taking away jobs from surgeons in the US. These things are not true. Trump's inauguration was the largest gathering of people ever seen.
  • From the highest authority (I absolutely hate authority, but it's how our species organizes itself), the line is blurred between true and false. Alternative facts are now the new norm. Things have become less clear by design, not so much of a better understanding of facts.
  • As a result of the truth and lies being commingled, echo chambers have also begun to provide solace for extremists. You can find a message board full of people who see the world in a specific way without a care for truth. You can find information to support your beliefs. I am the President of the US. No, I'm not Trump. I'm Malta Monkey. Tf you mean I'm not actually the President? I can create a forum online full of people who say I am. Trump is fake news. Malta Monkey is the President.

So what's the solution? Society is inherently too stupid to figure it out. So take it away. Take away political advertisements because people cannot be responsible to distribute the truth and people cannot be responsible to vet information.

I agree with Twitter. Cancel out the useless noise.

"The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary." - Nassim Taleb

    • 4
Nov 8, 2019

Thanks for the extensive comment Malta!

You cover a lot of points and love your analogies.

Yeah I agree with you about Twitter. I think if FB really only is making 0.5% of its revenue from political ads, then its an easy decision to stop it. Infact, a decision like that would boost up their stock value and increase investor confidence.

Maybe, its strategic on Twitter's part but now they would both benefit from all the users with a liberal mindset, the youth, and the next government potentially.

I'd say its harder for Twitter than FB to back out from these ads cause, Trump had kinda made Twitter boost up with his $%^&*() tweets.

Nov 8, 2019

AOC is an authoritarian. She and her cohorts don't like social media political ads because they can't control them. It's terrible that social media companies are being pressured into regulating speech by authoritarian politicians. Good for Facebook for standing up for the principle of free speech.

Nov 8, 2019

Trump can't post ads, but he can still post to followers, which can then be retweeted. All other contributors to Twitter political can endorse whomever they choose with their posts.

Nov 8, 2019

Hmmm.

That makes twitter get a good will. while not limiting trump to get "Organic" outreach.

Nov 8, 2019

I just firmly believe that political advertising should just not be allowed anywhere online/tv - unless with equal representation that is to say that from 8 pm to 8:02pm there is 2 minutes of political advertising and 1 minute is given to dems and 1 to republicans. There is much more ways of promoting your campaign and on how you should influence people than through the vile social networks.

Nov 8, 2019

But in today's world, isn't Social Media one of the most important platforms for elections/winning votes. UK had done it & is prepping for another one, India was heavy on Social media ads and even had holograms of Modi...

I'm not for or against Trump. I don't vote in the US. I'm just trying to understand your stance on social media political advertising.

Nov 8, 2019

My point is that money available to a party shouldn't influence an election (I unfortunately believe that in the US elections are very money driven, hence you only see two parties as it has always been the case, I think that it is one of the few coutries of the world where it is the case) - in the case whereby advertising spending on social media would be regulated then it would make sense, although individuals ie you and I could promote our party online too so very tough to regulate, therefore simply banning it is the best option.

Nov 8, 2019
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