To: Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook; Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google
Facebook & YouTube: Ban all political ads
Political ads on Facebook and YouTube have an unhealthy and anti-democratic effect on our political discourse. Twitter has decided to ban political ads—Facebook and Google, which owns YouTube, should do the same.
Why is this important?
That's what makes Twitter's announcement—that it will ban political ads—so refreshing. It recognizes that paid political ads threaten the credibility of platforms and allow bad actors to exploit loopholes that corporations like Facebook have created in the pursuit of profit.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said "This isn't about free expression. This is about paying for reach. And paying to increase the reach of political speech has significant ramifications that today's democratic infrastructure may not be prepared to handle."
There is still a long way to go to force these social media platforms to be constructive contributors to our civic discourse: They should be broken up for the monopolies they are, tightly regulated, and forced to address rampant disinformation by aggressively tackling the networks that spread concerted lies. And there's no question that Twitter, Faceook, YouTube, and other social media networks have a long way to go in how they deal with white supremacists and other toxic actors that exploit their platforms to spew hate and stir up violence.
But banning political ads would be a first—and important—step. That's why MoveOn started this petition despite any potential impact this new policy may have on our own ability to run ads on Twitter.