Via America’s Lawyer: Twitter has changed its terms of service, now banning ads that target specific political parties and candidates. Mike Papantonio and Farron Cousins discuss. 


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             Twitter announced recently that their ban on political advertising is going to extend to legislation and social causes, a move that could hurt candidates in groups who aren’t funded by big money donors. Farron, you said, you’ve said this a couple of times. Anytime you see social media saying we’re gonna, we’re, we’re really gonna make it difficult for you to use social media to advertise your idea, your legislators, legislative concept, your candidacy. Who suffers?

Farron Cousins:                  The, well the people who are grassroots mostly. And one of the things that’s really so awful about this new decision is that you can’t even run an ad on Twitter anymore because they ended it November 22nd. You couldn’t run an ad saying, you know, vote yes or vote no on proposition one. You couldn’t explain the benefits, you know, proposition one just to generic. But you can’t advocate or any outcome in any kind of race or legislative battle. And that is absolutely devastating to the people who use this as the tool to talk to their constituents.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, here’s what it says, it says that it’ll define political content. Now follow this. It’s going to define political content as anything that references a candidate, a political party, a pointed government official or referendum or ballot measure or legislation or regulation. What in the hell, I mean, that’s what journalism does. We talk about these things. The problem is that we, that this is being run, these decisions are being run in an in an environment where politically correctness is killing us. I mean, we’ve got, we’re like, we’re, it’s almost like are we too stupid to be able to read something or see something and make a decision ourselves? They want to think for us and it’s not just Twitter.

We’re seeing it across the board right now. It’s like, it’s like this millennial snowflake concept that is killing us. It’s all based on political correctness and we’ve got to get away from it. The first amendment matters. We ought to be able to talk about a ballot issue. We ought to be able to talk about legislative issues that concern us on things like the environment, dangerous products, corruption in government. This is saying we can’t do that.

Farron Cousins:                  Well, the problem is they saw Facebook. Facebook took a lot of heat and rightfully so, but then Facebook said, listen, our decision is we’re not going to fact check anything. You want to run an ad, you run an ad. If somebody reports it as being bad, we’ll look into it. But we say whatever, run, whatever, and Twitter says, wow, that’s, that’s one extreme. We’ll go to the other extreme and say nothing at all. You can’t do anything. But Twitter is a far greater tool to reach a huge amount of people in the shortest amount of time. And that is what these grassroots candidates, these, you know, consumer organizations, they rely on Twitter far more than they do on Facebook.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay. Let’s, let’s put it in a real, healthcare, okay. Universal healthcare. What do we have with universal healthcare? You have a concept, a cause. Correct? And you have a bill legislative bill, and according to the rules, you can’t talk about that on Twitter. Now, that’s how ridiculous it’s become. Now the other part of it is we’re going to have, who is it that’s going to make these decisions? I mean, you’re going to have people that understand that all of these issues so well that they can define, well, this is actually, this is actual political discussion. We can’t permit this. Or is this discussion that ties into a bill that’s pending that we ought to be able to talk about? You see, the problem is anytime you go down this avenue, you’re saying to the American public, you are so frigging stupid that we can’t trust you to be able to read something and figure it out yourself. That’s what this is. This is, this is, this is let’s take care of stupid people because we’re smarter than they are.

Farron Cousins:                  And what’s going to happen is that eventually something’s going to squeak through and if it’s a right-leaning thing, the left is going to be furious and claim a bias. If it’s a left-leaning thing, the right’s going to claim a bias because eventually, because of the people they’re going to have doing this, something’s going to sneak through and this is going to come back and bite Twitter because regardless of which side it is, they’re going to be accused of having a huge bias and it’s going to throw it all out the window.

Mike Papantonio:             I, I hope it comes back and bites them. Farron, thanks for joining me. Okay.

Farron Cousins:                  Thank you.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.