Twitter has said that it would bar political advertising globally on its platform, responding to growing criticism over misinformation from politicians on social media. Chief executive Jack Dorsey said in a tweet that the company took the action to head off potential problems from "machine learning-based optimization of messaging and micro-targeting, unchecked misleading information, and deep fakes." The move comes with Facebook under pressure to apply fact-checking to politicians running ads with debunked claims.
Dorsey said the new policy, details of which will be unveiled next month, would ban ads on political issues as well as from candidates. "We considered stopping only candidate ads, but issue ads present a way to circumvent," he said. "Additionally, it isn't fair for everyone but candidates to buy ads for issues they want to push. So we're stopping these too."
Facebook has also ramped up its efforts to make the site secure for the 2020 US Presidential Polls.
With just over a year left until the 2020 US presidential election, Facebook is stepping up its efforts to ensure it is not used as a tool to interfere in politics and democracies around the world. The efforts outlined Monday include a special security tool for elected officials and candidates that monitors their accounts for hacking attempts such as login attempts from unusual locations or unverified devices. Facebook said Monday it will also label state-controlled media as such, label fact-checks more clearly and invest USD 2 million in media literacy projects. The company also announced it has removed four networks of fake, state-backed misinformation-spreading accounts based in Russia and Iran. These networks sought to disrupt elections in the US, North Africa and Latin America, the company said. In the past year, Facebook said it has taken down 50 such clusters of accounts, a sign that efforts to use its services to disrupt elections are not letting up.
As part of its efforts to clamp down on misinformation, Facebook said it will add more prominent labels on debunked posts on Facebook as well as on Instagram. It will put labels on top of what are deemed "false" and "partly false" photos and videos.