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The Snapchat ghost is rising to avenge democracy

Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel promises Snapchat will continue to fact-check all political ads, going against contending new policies by Facebook and Twitter.

Not every social network is following Facebook’s divisive new ad policy. Snap Inc.– the company behind photo sharing platform Snapchat – came out on Monday to reveal that the app fact-checks all political advertising before sharing it with users.

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel stressed the importance of limiting the spread of misinformation on a platform geared toward a younger generation, comparing the system to the checks political ads are often required to undergo to be broadcast on cable TV.

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“We subject all advertising to review, including political advertising”, Spiegel told CNBC on Monday. “And I think what we try to do is create a place for political ads on our platform, especially because we reach so many young people and first-time voters we want them to be able to engage with the political conversation, but we don’t allow things like misinformation to appear in that advertising”.

“That might be more similar to cable rather than broadcast”.

This decision positions Snapchat right in between Facebook and Twitter in the ongoing debate that addresses the spread of fake news in the current political climate.

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While Facebook has been pushing for less regulation as of late – the company has promised that it won’t be vetting any political ads placed by candidates in the run up to the UK general election – Twitter has banned political ads altogether.

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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey published a thread to the site on October 30 explaining that, because politicians can reach an audience by earning followers and retweets, “paying for reach removes that decision, forcing highly optimized and targeted political messages on people”. Twitter believes that this decision “should not be compromised by money”.

Snapchat is taking a seemingly rare middle ground here by allowing ads to be pushed out to users only after they are placed under the scrutiny of its fact-checking team.

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