What's Wrong With Political Ads On X?

As you’ve probably read, X has made the decision to reverse course and begin accepting political ads again. The platform, FKA Twitter, argued in part that it is “Supporting people’s right to accurate and safe political discourse on X.” 

The platform says it will have all sorts of checks and mechanisms in place to make sure no false or misleading information is disseminated on the platform via political ads.  



And if that’s the company’s stand, well, what could possibly go wrong? 

I think Jack Dorsey spelled out quite articulately in a series of tweets what could go wrong back in 2019 when he and his team then leading Twitter implemented the ban on political advertising. 

“We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought,” Dorsey tweeted at the time. “Why? A few reasons.”  

“For instance, it‘s not credible for us to say: “We’re working hard to stop people from gaming our systems to spread misleading info, buuut if someone pays us to target and force people to see their political ad…well...they can say whatever they want!” 

He also noted that “Internet political ads present entirely new challenges to civic discourse: machine learning-based optimization of messaging and micro-targeting, unchecked misleading information, and deep fakes. All at increasing velocity, sophistication, and overwhelming scale.” 

“These challenges will affect ALL internet communication, not just political ads,” Dorsey tweeted. “Best to focus our efforts on the root problems, without the additional burden and complexity taking money brings. Trying to fix both means fixing neither well, and harms our credibility.” 

Seems to me Dorsey’s reasoning remains just as sound today as it was four years ago. But as we all know, it’s not his call to make anymore.  


3 comments about "What's Wrong With Political Ads On X?".
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  1. Dan Ciccone from STACKED Entertainment, August 31, 2023 at 9:10 a.m.

    So X's stance is people can say whatever they want in a political ad?  I don't think that's what they are saying.

    And sourcing Dorsey and his rationale, you know, the guy who led Twitter's effort to subvert truth by shadowbanning users who did not violate Twitter's TOS and go out of its way to block truthful content due to a cozy relatioinship with one political party in the White House seems like the wrong person to take wisdom from, and definitely the wrong standard to hold any social media company to.

  2. Paul Bledsoe from Bledsoe Advertising/Productions, August 31, 2023 at 11:30 a.m.

    The freedom of expression and concerns is the freedom that makes America work. It seems liberals feel the truth only comes from their particular point of view. "X" in the right to display political ads.

  3. Artie White from Zoom Media Corp, August 31, 2023 at 12:08 p.m.

    Of course they will accept political ads; it's not like the major advertisers are spending there like they used to. And so X / Twitter continues it's downward spiral as more and more "active daily users" abandon the platform to it's fate: a right wing echo chamber clogged with unwanted clickbait and posts from dinosaurs like these two guys ↑

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