Jack Dorsey took a swing at Mark Zuckerberg, and politicians took note.
On Wednesday the Twitter CEO announced a new policy governing political advertisements — namely, that in contrast to Facebook, his company would no longer accept them. In doing so, he specifically alluded to Zuckerberg’s defense of allowing political figures to pay to spread misinformation. Elected officials, both past and present, seized the opportunity to pile on.
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that Twitter’s move was a “good call,” before adding that “Not allowing for paid disinformation is one of the most basic, ethical decisions a company can make.”
This is a good call. Technology – and social media especially – has a powerful responsibility in preserving the integrity of our elections.
Not allowing for paid disinformation is one of the most basic, ethical decisions a company can make.
/1 https://twitter.com/jack/status/1189634360472829952 …jack ✔@jackWe’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought. Why? A few reasons…36.7K2:39 AM – Oct 31, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy5,347 people are talking about this
Notably, Ocasio-Cortez recently beefed with Zuckerberg over his company’s controversial political ads policy. On Oct. 23, the congresswoman embarrassed the CEO by pressing him on whether his company’s ad policy would allow her to run paid posts falsely claiming Republicans supported the Green New Deal.
His fumbled response was widely mocked, and the entire thing became the stuff of memes.
But the congresswoman from New York wasn’t the only one to get in on the fun. The campaign of former vice president and current primary candidate for the Democratic party nomination for president, Joe Biden, also weighed in on Twitter’s move.
In a statement shared by the New York Times‘ Kate Conger, Biden’s camp used the opportunity to obliquely criticize Facebook.
“[When] faced with a choice between ad dollars and the integrity of our democracy,” read the statement in part, “it is encouraging that, for once, revenue did not win out.”
Biden campaign statement:
Oh, and look who else got in on the fun.
“This is the right thing to do for democracy in America and all over the world,” wrote Hillary Clinton. “What say you, @Facebook?”
This is the right thing to do for democracy in America and all over the world.
What say you, @Facebook? https://twitter.com/jack/status/1189634360472829952 …jack ✔@jackWe’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought. Why? A few reasons…60.7K1:51 AM – Oct 31, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy13K people are talking about this
Of course, not everyone was happy. The campaign manager for Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, Brad Parscale, demonstrated a fundamental lack of understanding of the english language by claiming a policy banning all political advertising on Twitter — regardless of the party running it — specifically targeted Trump.
“Twitter bans political ads in yet another attempt by the left to silence Trump and conservatives,” wrote the tragically simpleminded Parscale.
Dorsey, it would appear, had other thoughts on the matter.