Twitter doubles its Israel sales team

Published date02 October 2022
Publication titleGlobes (Rishon LeZion, Israel)
Twitter policy prohibits posting political ads on its social network in general and particularly on election days. The company defines political content as content referring to a candidate, political party, elected or appointed government official, election, referendum, voting methods, legislation, regulation, directive, or judicial result

"There are several efforts we make in every election system in the world, and specifically in Israel. Our goal is to preserve the integrity that exists on Twitter," Paderni says. "Of course, we have a very clear policy against manipulation in this arena, and we aim to preserve that integrity with the help of artificial intelligence tools and human teams that will check content. During elections, it is very important to stop, block or suspend any effort or attempt by any type of entity that wants to interfere in the elections."

Paderni explains these diligent checks apply to Israel as well. "We follow the conversations in Hebrew, of course, and we respond to user reports. Along with this, we also cooperate with the Israeli authorities, which is very important for the success of the elections in Israel. Our policy and communication teams work directly with them and there is a direct open channel."

There have been attempts in Israel to influence election results through bots, among other things. How do you combat that?

"It's important to clarify that 'bot' is a definition of a user account and 'spam' is a behavioral definition. To fight bad bots or spam, we use machine learning, artificial intelligence and human teams. To make clear, over 50% of all content that violates our rules in this arena is detected automatically and presented for human review. Our goal is not to eradicate all bots but to stop those bots which violate our laws and policies."

Right before its dispersal, the Knesset approved legislation stating that any paid-for election propaganda - whether on behalf of a party, candidate, or person working on their behalf - must be signified as such. In other words, any bot, comment, or influencer receiving payment from a political entity - will be required to be linked to the political party or funder.

Twitter was not familiar with the legislation when asked about it, but made clear its commitment to working with all relevant parties in the government and civil society, along with experts. Regarding paid partnerships on the platform, Twitter stated, "Ads that are published as organic tweets will require disclosures to viewers indicating the commercial nature of this content. In addition, to comply with the rules of the social network, users - including creators and brands, participating in paid partnerships - are responsible for complying with all laws and regulations."

There is a sense that Twitter highlights toxic arguments conducted on the platform, and sometimes misrepresents support for politicians...

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