Social media has become a battleground for political parties especially during election campaigns.
Now two of the giants have taken completely different attitudes.
One will ban all political partisan adverts, the other will allow them and with no fact checking.
Philip Mai, is a researcher and the co-director at the Ryerson University Social Media LabListen
Twitter has announced it will no longer accept political adverts. The only exception in the case of Canada, would be for example from the official government agency Elections Canada with non-partisan adverts such as simply encouraging people to vote.
Facebook on the other hand has taken a completely different tack. This social media giant has said political adverts will be accepted and at face value, i.e., they won’t be fact checking to ensure truth.
Although unlike the other two giants, Google/Alphabet/Youtube has not made public pronouncements but it seems this group will however continue to accept political adverts with no fact checking. The company did not accept Canadian political adverts during this recent election, but Mai says the company may decide to get back into accepting such ads in Canada as well at some point.
Other media powerhouses like TikTok and Microsoft have also indicated they will not take political adverts, again because it’s not a money maker, and to fact check would be far too expensive.
- CNBC: Elias/Graham: Nov 3/19: Google staying silent about political ads on YouTube
- CNN: Oct 4/19: L.He: TikTok doesn’t allow political adverts
- Associated Press (via CBC): Oct 30/19: Twitter bans all political adverts
- VOX: E.Stewart: Oct 30/19: Facebook’s political ads policy predictably turning out to be a disaster
- The Hill: M. Johnson: Oct 31/19: ‘Social Network’ screenwriter pens open letter slamming Facebook’s Zuckerberg
- NY Times: S. Vaidhyanathan: Nov 2/19: OpEd: The real reason Facebook won’t fact-check political adverts
- Washington Post: K. Epstein; Elizabeth Warren’s Facebook ad proves the social media giant still has a politics problem