Twitter to release details about political advertising prohibition

Twitter releases the details of its ban on political advertising today, with the December 12 UK election set to be

twitter political ad ban

Photo: Glen Chapman/AFP

Twitter releases the details of its ban on political advertising today, with the December 12 UK election set to be the first test of the new measure’s impact. The ban’s enforcement will begin November 22.

Due to the platform’s reputation for spreading harmful, incorrect information and fuelling online abuse, the company’s focus is on ensuring the elections are “open and safe”. The establishment of a cross-functional UK elections team to maintain a secure level of political engagement is marked as a step in that direction. Increased investment in an abuse detection system has also been confirmed, while disinformation is seen as a massive threat to democracy and free debate.

The move will increase pressure on social media rival Facebook, which has continued to allow political adverts, to enact a similar ban. Regardless, Russian interference in the vote via targeted social media campaigns remains a concern.

The UK government has not yet publicised an intelligence report on Russian subversion prior to the upcoming election. Downing Street will not release it until after the election, with details of party funding potentially acting as a disincentive for pre-election release.

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