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Twitter Declares Total Advertising Ban on State-Run Media Outlets

© AFP 2023 / EMMANUEL DUNANDTwitter on the front of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York
Twitter on the front of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York - Sputnik International
Technology has profoundly transformed today’s media environment, with politically-sponsored misinformation able to generate powerful momentum, distorting public debate and fuelling divisions. Increased scrutiny from lawmakers and backlash from users has been urging companies like Facebook and Twitter to take measures to address the problem.

In a blog post today Twitter announced from now on the company is extending its policies to ban advertising from all state-sponsored news sources globally.

The ban will spread to all news-media organisations found to be “financially or editorially controlled by the state". 
The blog post reads:

“We are updating our advertising policies with respect to state media. Going forward, we will not accept advertising from state-controlled news media entities … This is a global approach and will be enforced across our entire business".

Twitter claimed to have assembled a list of state-sponsored media outlets based on information provided by “Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index, Freedom House, the Economist Intelligence Unit Democracy Index, the European Journalism Centre’s Media Landscapes Report, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and UNESCO’s framework to assess media development and independence".

The announcement appears to emphasise its new rules shall not be restricted to outlets directly linked to government oversight, and will apply to those with compromised journalists:

“We will be making policy determinations on the basis of critical issues of media freedom and independence, such as control of editorial content, financial ownership, influence or interference over broadcasters, editors, and journalists, direct and indirect exertion of political pressure, and/or control over the production and distribution process.
This policy will not apply to entities that are solely dedicated to entertainment, sports, and travel content. However, if the content is mixed with news, it will be prohibited".

With politically-sponsored misinformation campaigns wielding increasing power on social media, companies such as Twitter and Facebook have been under pressure to crack down on fake accounts and false content on their platforms.
The company said it would contact companies and persons the new ban extends to, giving them a grace period of thirty days to disassociate themselves from the company’s advertising products. At the end of that period, they shall face “stringent enforcement".

Twitter reassured that accounts complying with the new rules will be able to continue using the social media platform without advertising on it in a move the company hopes will preclude state-run campaigns from finding their way to user feeds of people otherwise not following outlets behind them.

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