Twitter promises full disclosure of political spending

Twitter promises full disclosure of political spending

Twitter has announced that they will give the public full disclosure when they donate PAC money to a federal campaign in the upcoming presidential election.

 

U.S. law gives committees a period of weeks to months before they need to disclose the names of the candidates to whom they give money. Twitter says that they will announce their donation details within the 48 hours after the funds are given to support a candidate. While the company isn’t under any legal obligations to reveal their political spending so quickly, Twitter’s head of global public policy, Colin Crowell, said they made the decision because it’s “the right thing to do for Twitter.”

 

Colin Crowell

Twitter’s head of global public policy, Colin Crowell (hurriyetdailynews.com)

“Timely disclosure is something we could do. We figured, ‘Why not?’” said Crowell.

 

Could Twitter’s “Why not?” attitude cause other businesses to disclose their campaign funding details soon after they occur? While it’s possible that some could follow their lead, it’s very unlikely. Since it’s legal to withhold this information for an extended period of time, there are no negative repercussions for waiting within the federal time limit allotted. However, making a full disclosure move like this could help build trust with the public.        

 

Twitter has been attempting to make moves that bring in some positive PR after they made the decision to lay off 336 employees in October. The company’s new CEO, Jack Dorsey, has been trying to boost Twitter’s image and turn around their sinking stock prices. Their stance on full disclosure with political spending may not make any huge changes, but it’s a step in the right direction.

 

So far, Twitter has raised $95,000 with their PAC, but the company hasn’t announced to which candidates they’re thinking of donating. However, Crowell has stated that the company would be giving money to candidates that support changes to government surveillance practices and patent laws.    

 

How will this move help Twitter? Will more businesses follow Twitter’s lead? Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.

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