November 5, 2019

IntelBrief: Social Media Platforms and Political Ads

FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2018, file photo Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in Washington. "While internet advertising is incredibly powerful and very effective for commercial advertisers, that power brings significant risks to politics, where it can be used to influence votes to affect the lives of millions," Dorsey said Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File).
  • Last week, Twitter announced it would no longer accept political ads.
  • Meanwhile, Facebook officials have lamented that it would be a bad thing for democracy if social media companies were left to discern fact versus fiction.
  • Even with world-class programmers and sophisticated algorithms, Facebook has a poor track record of discerning the political from the apolitical.
  • Even though Facebook insists it does not want to be the ultimate arbiter of truth, the company bears responsibility for regulating content on its platform that has proven to be corrosive to American institutions and democracy.