Jack Dorsey, the CEO of social networking platform Twitter, announced on Wednesday that Twitter will stop accepting political ads.
“We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought,” Dorsey tweeted.
“A political message earns reach when people decide to follow an account or retweet. Paying for reach removes that decision, forcing highly optimized and targeted political messages on people. We believe this decision should not be compromised by money,” he added.
Jack Dorsey made this announcement just when Facebook was set to release its third-quarter earnings on Wednesday. However, Zuckerberg made sure to quickly assert his say.
“Some people accuse us of allowing speech because they think all we care about is making money, and that’s wrong,” accosted Zuckerberg on Facebook’s earnings. “I can assure you that from a business perspective, the controversy this creates far outweighs the very small percentage of our business that these political ads make up.”
Facebook reported $17.35 billion in revenue for the third quarter with a profit of $6.61 billion. The company posted $13.7 billion in revenue and $5.14 billion in profit during the same period last year. On the call, Zuckerberg said the company estimates ads from politicians will be less than 0.5% of its revenue next year
Facebook landed under this intense scrutiny after the company said it would allow Trump’s re-election campaign to run an ad with false claims about former Vice President Joe Biden and his son. The ads policy was a major point of discussion at a congressional hearing last week where Zuckerberg testified.
“To put this in perspective, the FTC fine that these same critics said wouldn’t be enough to change our incentives was more than 10x bigger than this,” he said.
To the contrary, Twitter’s decision to ban political ads was more of dogma and ethics than money.
Ned Segal, Twitter’s chief financial officer, tweeted Wednesday that the company made less than $3 million from political ads in the 2018 cycle.
“This decision was based on principle, not money,” he said.