Twitter’s uselessness for reporting bullshit adverts

All manner of advertisers promote content on Twitter. These appear looking like normal Tweets in many respects, except for the very small print string “Promoted” in the bottom left corner.

I found this Ad from a solar company this morning.

The ad looks exciting doesn’t it? “Sell excess electricity back to the grid at wholesale rates”. Yeah. Put big array on house, make money.

There is one snag. Texas does not have net metering laws. You cannot currently sell electricity back to your supplier using a net meter. Some suppliers offer sort-of-credits, but there is no net metering.

So this advert, for Texas, is bullshit. Or to be less polite, it is a lie.

OK. So let’s report the ad. I clicked on “Report”. This is what comes up.

“Adult Sexual Content” is indeed the default.

However, there is no line saying “advert is deceitful or incorrect” or similar.

I clicked on “Other”. There is no dialog box that allows you to define what “Other” means in this context. As in “in Texas, this is bullshit because Texas has no net metering legislation”. It just leaves the dialog and sends you to the option to Block the advertiser.

So, Twitter makes it next to impossible for  to clearly explain why an advert should be investigated or possibly removed from the platform.

In the UK, an ad like this in a newspaper or older medium would be reported to the Advertising Standards Authority, who would investigate. They would probably end up ordering the advertiser to change the wording, since is is clearly bullshit for residents of Texas.

This is another example of the lack of seriousness and due diligence by Twitter. Their actions and the lack of attention to detail on Report facilities show that they are totally unserious and uncommitted to any form of useful content moderation.

 

 

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