Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had recently announced that the company was banning all political advertising globally as internet advertisements present entirely new challenges to the civil discourse including unchecked information and deep fakes at increasing velocity and overwhelming scale. He also apparently stated that political messages reach should be earned, not bought.
In India, social media platforms play an imperative role in ‘manipulating’ the situations leading to gaining their respective votes, especially during elections. Evidently, there has been a surge in the use of social media by the public to view news on politics.
According to Google’s Political Advertising Transparency report, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) tops the list with ₹12.1 crores since February 2019, while Tamil Nadu’s Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has spent ₹4 crores. Astonishingly, the main opposition party, Indian National Congress (INC) comes third in terms of spending with ₹3 crores.
Political analysts say that Google and Facebook offer more sophisticated and efficient micro-targeting tools whereas Twitter turns out to be expensive and relatively ineffective in promoting content costs.
Digital campaigners and advertisers for national political parties spoke about their organic use instead of paid and promoted tweets on Twitter. A large portion of political advertising in the country is cornered by Google and Facebook.
According to a report by Money Control, Twitter India does not generate much revenue through political campaigns, even though political parties and leaders have a large following on the platform.
The company will share the final policy by November 15, and the ban would implement by November 22.
Since the target base of political ads is higher on Google and Facebook than on Twitter, their influence on the public will continue. If Facebook ceases political advertising then it will certainly have a colossal impact on political parties and their functioning in India.