Why We All Need To Be Paying Attention To Twitter Right Now

Why We All Need To Be Paying Attention To Twitter Right Now

Their latest policy could be groundbreaking, or disastrous...


On Wednesday, October 30th, Twitter CEO & Co-Founder Jack Dorsey announced that the social media site would be banning all political advertising. This decision was made after years of criticism that began back during the 2016 US Presidential election.

The debate about political ads on social media began in 2016, when the public was first made aware of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Russia spread polarizing, & often false information on social media platforms such as Twitter in an attempt to influence the outcome of the election.

Twitter's reasoning for banning political ads definitely seems noble. Dorsey says that political influence should be earned through public support like retweets, not bought with money to be promoted to the public. But the reasoning behind the ban isn't what most people have a problem with, it's this: Twitter will be banning all ads related to political issues- not just ads from politicians. This may also seem fine at first, but conservative & liberal Twitter users have been asking themselves the same question:

What counts as a political issue?

Twitter will not be releasing its formal policy until November 15th, but until then, they have some rough guidelines of what an "issue" ad will look like. Twitter's Policy Head, Vijaya Gadde, provided the company's current definition:

Twitter has clarified that "issue" ads will not include ads like those encouraging people to register to vote and that they are still working through the details of the policy. As of now, the list of policy issues includes "abortion, climate change, healthcare, guns, immigration, national security, and taxes" under its policy, but the final list will likely include more.

This soap ad may be blocked under Twitter's new ad policy

This movie ad may be blocked under Twitter's new ad policyhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zjo24BxfbnY

Let's get down to the root of the problem. This policy gives Twitter the power to define what counts as a political issue. For example, what if an ad happens to include a brief quote from the Christian bible? Is that a political issue, since religious activists have been at the forefront of the recent politics? Or what if there's an ad advertising an everyday product that just happens to feature a gay couple? Is that a political issue, since LBGT rights are being debated in the Supreme Court & around the country? It's difficult to imagine a middle ground, where both political parties are satisfied and where Twitter hasn't banned all of its advertisers. If you trace any ad far back enough, from the advertiser to the parent company, or to a product's production, there's going to be something that people see as a political issue eventually.

This is quite a dilemma. Luckily, Twitter provides a biannual "transparency report" for the concerned consumer. Their most recent report includes a list of so-called "issue" advertisers. Here are just a few: (links will take you to Twitter's ad analysis page fro the group)



-Comedy Central

-Exxon Mobile





-Planned Parenthood


So what do these names tell us? First & foremost, that no potential advertiser is safe. Media groups, commercial companies, & non-partisan organizations are all subject to an "issue" advertiser label. Twitter makes at least 86% of its money from advertising. It's unclear how much money Twitter may lose with this move. If the site uses a widespread interpretation of "issue" ads, they may drive away a large portion of their advertisers. On the other hand, advertisers may steer clear from anything that could be interpreted as a political issue, & shift their advertising strategies to remain on the site.

Other social media sites are watching closely to see how this plays out. Many sites are struggling to regulate advertising in the contentious political climate of today. If Twitter's new policy seems popular, we might start to see similar things on platforms like Facebook & Twitter. Because a political ad bans such new territory, it's unclear how this will play out. One things for sure: this is something we should be paying attention to.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Disney Plus

Millions of musical-lovers around the world rejoiced when "Hamilton," the hip-hop-mixtape-turned-musical harder to get in to than Studio 54, came to Disney Plus.

For those who had the luxury of being able to watch it in person and rewatch it with us mere mortals on our screens, the experience was almost as gripping as sitting feet from Lin-Manuel Miranda himself. From the stunning sets, graceful choreography, witty dialogue, and hauntingly beautiful singing, the experience was one even my musical-averse family felt moved by.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

We Asked You How You Felt About Resuming 'Normal' Activities, And Some Of Your Answers Shocked Us

The New York Times asked 511 epidemiologists when they'd feel comfortable doing "normal" activities again, considering COVID-19. We asked our peers the same thing, for science.

Last month, the New York Times surveyed about 500 epidemiologists asking about their comfort level with certain activities once deemed normal — socializing with friends, going to the doctor, bringing in the mail. That's all well and good for the experts, but they are a very niche group, not the majority of the population. What do "normal" people feel safe doing? In certain states, we've seen how comfortable everyone is with everything (looking at you, Florida), but we wanted to know where Odyssey's readers fell on the comfort scale. Are they sticking with the epidemiologists who won't be attending a wedding for another year, or are they storming the sunny beaches as soon as possible?

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Keto Is All Fun And Games Until You're Undernourished And Almost Pass Out

Keto is just another extension of diet culture that boasts rapid weight loss, but at a steep price.

Photo by LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash

There has been a Keto diet craze going around in the past couple of years, with many of its followers claiming significant weight loss. With any new, trendy diet claiming miraculous weight-loss, one starts to wonder what exactly is happening behind the curtain. The keto, or ketogenic, diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that claims to help the body shift its fuel source from carbs to fat. In the medical community it has been prescribed to patients with uncontrolled epilepsy to reduce the frequency of seizures, but other than that there is little conclusive evidence to other potential benefits.

Keep Reading... Show less

Jennifer Kustanovich is not only the president of the Odyssey at Stony Brook University but is also an illuminating yoga instructor. She's an inspiring proactive leader in the wellness industry. Her expertise in movement expands onto Zumba and high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

On the last day of her in-person class, she gave everyone a way of contacting her and made sure to check up on all her clients. She wanted to ensure that they were doing okay and to remind them that she is always there.

Keep Reading... Show less

These 5 Black Female-Owned Swimwear Brands Are Must-Haves For Your HOTTEST Summer Yet

To all the woman who put their money where their mouth is, lets do two things for the price of one.

The start of summer is always exciting,(especially after an unprecedented pandemic) and people are itching to make this particular summer count. Correction: with the amount gratefulness I have for life at this moment in time I am itching to make this summer count.

But at the same time, in the midst of social justice issues, activism is something that is at the forefront of many people's minds, including mine. With money comes power and buying Black is a way to directly help the marginalized and oppressed while getting something in return.

Keep Reading... Show less

These Are The Black-Owned Restaurants In Chicago You Should Absolutely Be Supporting

Support the movement and your appetite at the same time with these amazing spots.

The Black Lives Matter movement is taking the country by storm to crash down systematic racism and liberate people of color. However, during these changing it can be hard to determine what you can do to make an impact besides reposting Instagram stories and texting petition numbers. Instead, support Black-owned businesses or, more specifically, Black-owned restaurants. Here are some outstanding and underrated Black-owned restaurants in Chicago that can help you support the movement.
Keep Reading... Show less

10 Things To Know About LDRs, From A Couple Separated By The Atlantic Ocean AND A Pandemic

There will be challenges, but more often than not, it's worth it.

Most individuals in relationships have not been able to go on romantic dates in quite a while due to business closures in the wake of the pandemic. Other couples have encountered challenges while seeing each other face to face in the past three months due to coronavirus regulations. Long-distance relationships have unfortunately become a reality for many in this era of global health crises. Western New York native and travel journalist, Chelsea Baron, knows this all too well.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Easy Summer Mocktail Recipes You Can Make With Items You Probably Already Have On-Hand

Keep these drinks in mind next time you're visiting your local farmer's market — you might want to grab some extra mint and limes.

With Summer 2020 in full swing comes the addition of many fresh fruits and vegetables to brighten up your dinner plate, but also your glass! Farmers markets are my personal favorite place to look for produce that is in season to make fun mocktails with.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments