Twitter has told the French government it will not run adverts promoting the Interior Ministry's campaign urging the electorate to vote, following a new law clamping down on misinformation and covert political advertising.
The campaign #Ouijevote, which encourages voting in May’s European Parliament elections, will not be able to post sponsored tweets on the site.
Twitter says it risks breaking regulations by posting adverts paid for by the French government, according to the Government Information Service (SIG)
“Twitter has decided to follow an entirely hard-line approach which is to slash every campaign of a political nature,” SIG, which co-ordinated the campaign with the French interior ministry, told Agence France-Presse.
“This is a public information campaign,” the SIG said. “It is not a political or party campaign.”
It obliges companies to publish how much they are paid for electoral advertisements, as well as providing an online register of who is behind sponsored political messages on its platform.
Twitter has not yet updated its services in France to provide the required transparency.
However, interior minister Christophe Castaner has criticised Twitter for interpreting the law to encompass the campaign for voter registration.
“Twitter’s priority should be to fight content supporting terrorism,” he tweeted.
“Not campaigns that encourage people to sign up for the electoral role in a democratic republic.”
Last year, Minister for Europe and Foreign affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, doubled down on the “manipulation of information” prevalent on the internet, which he called “orchestrated campaigns” spreading “deliberately-fabricated fake or biased news” for political purposes.
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