jack dorsey

I ran digital ads for a presidential campaign, and Twitter is right to ban them

Aaron Bartnick Contributor Share on Twitter Aaron Bartnick (@AaronBartnick) served as Digital Director for Congressman Seth Moulton’s presidential campaign. He is currently completing graduate studies at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. As the digital director for Congressman Seth Moulton’s 2020 presidential campaign, I was responsible for everything the campaign did on the internet: the emails you claim to hate, the videos we hoped would go viral, the online infrastructure that supported organizers in the field, and more. But our biggest investment of both time and money, by far, was in digital advertising. For our campaign and many others, digital ads were the single biggest expense outside of payroll. Yet these ads are terrible for campaigns, toxic for democracy and are even ba...

Banning digital political ads gives extremists a distinct advantage

Jessica Alter Contributor Share on Twitter Jessica Alter is co-founder and chairman of Tech for Campaigns, an organization building the lasting tech and digital arm for Democrats and has helped over 200 campaigns on this front since 2017. Jack Dorsey’s announcement that Twitter will no longer run political ads because “political messages reach should be earned, not bought” has been welcomed as a thoughtful and statesmanlike contrast to Mark Zuckerberg’s and Facebook’s greedy acceptance of “political ads that lie.” While the 240-character policy sounds compelling, it’s both flawed in principle and, I fear, counterproductive in practice.  First: like it or hate it, the U.S. political system is drowning in money. In 2018, a non-presidential year, it is estimated that over $9B was spent on the...

Twitter’s political ads ban is a distraction from the real problem with platforms

Sometimes it feels as if Internet platforms are turning everything upside down, from politics to publishing, culture to commerce, and of course swapping truth for lies. This week’s bizarro reversal was the vista of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, a tech CEO famed for being entirely behind the moral curve of understanding what his product is platforming (i.e. nazis), providing an impromptu ‘tweet storm’ in political speech ethics. Actually he was schooling Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg — another techbro renowned for his special disconnect with the real world, despite running a massive free propaganda empire with vast power to influence other people’s lives — in taking a stand for the good of democracy and society. So not exactly a full reverse then. In short,...

Twitter Will Ban Political Ads

Jack Dorsey (via TechCrunch/Flickr) In a decision announced via Twitter, CEO Jack Dorsey stated that the global platform would not be presenting political advertising going forward. “A political message earns reach when people decide to follow an account or retweet,” said Dorsey, in a series of threaded tweets. “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.” The thread continued, detailing the platform’s official stance on the paid reach of political ads and challenges that internet platforms pose to civic discourse: machine learning-based optimization of messaging, micro-targeting, unchecked misleading information, and deep fakes — “All at increasing velocity, sophist...

Twitter banning political ads is the right thing to do, so it will be attacked mercilessly

Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey announced abruptly — though the timing was certainly not accidental — that the platform would soon disallow any and all political advertising. This is the right thing to do, but it’s also going to be hard as hell for a lot of reasons. As usual in tech and politics, no good deed goes unpunished. Malicious actors, state-sponsored and otherwise, have and will continue to attempt to influence the outcome of U.S. elections via online means, including political ads and astroturfing. Banning such ads outright is an obvious, if rather heavy-handed, solution — but given that online platforms seem to have made little progress on more targeted measures, it’s the only one realistically available to deploy now. “Not allowing for paid disinformation ...

Trump gets on Twitch

The reelection campaign will be livestreamed. US president Donald Trump has joined Amazon-owned livestreaming platform Twitch. Twitch is best known as a social video streaming platform for gamers but does host other content, including politics. The verified DonaldTrump Twitch account, spotted earlier by Reuters, has just one video in the recent broadcast section so far: A livestream of a Trump rally which took place in Minneapolis yesterday evening. Alongside the saved video of this broadcast is a growing selection of user generated clips culled from the stream, with titles such as “This is our president.”, “LOL”, “KEK” and “pepelaugh”. Another clip remarks on how a single black man — who’s visible in the top corner of the shot of...

Twitter admits it used two-factor phone numbers and emails for serving targeted ads

Twitter has said it used phone numbers and email addresses, provided by users to set up two-factor authentication on their accounts, to serve targeted ads. In a disclosure Tuesday, the social media giant said it did not know how many users were impacted. The issue stemmed from the company’s tailored audiences program, which allows companies to target advertisements against their own marketing lists, such as phone numbers and email addresses. But Twitter found that when advertisers uploaded their marketing lists, it matched Twitter users to the phone numbers and email addresses users submitted to set up two-factor authentication on their account. The issue was addressed as of September 17, the disclosure said. Two-factor authentication is an important security feature that makes it fa...