In an attempt to keep Twitter free of politically sponsored misinformation able to generate powerful momentum which in turn can distort public debate and fuel divisions, the social media giant announced it will ban advertising from all state-sponsored news sources globally.
Twitter announced that the ban will spread to all news-media organizations found to be “financially or editorially controlled by the state”.
“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 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.