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HOT TOPIC: PEN America Cautiously Welcomes Twitter Political Ad Policy, Says More Details Needed; Zuckerberg Says It’s Not All About Money, It’s About Free-Speech

Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of Twitter, in 2009 / Brian Solis, www.briansolis.com / bub.blicio.us under CC BY 2.0

We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought. Why? A few reasons… A political message earns reach when people decide to follow an account or retweet. Paying for reach removes that decision, forcing highly optimized and targeted political messages on people. We believe this decision should not be compromised by money. While internet advertising is incredibly powerful and very effective for commercial advertisers, that power brings significant risks to politics, where it can be used to influence votes to affect the lives of millions. nternet political ads present entirely new challenges to civic discourse: machine learning-based optimization of messaging and micro-targeting, unchecked misleading information, and deep fakes. All at increasing velocity, sophistication, and overwhelming scale. These challenges will affect ALL internet communication, not just political ads. Best to focus our efforts on the root problems, without the additional burden and complexity taking money brings. Trying to fix both means fixing neither well, and harms our credibility” … Dorsey Status Update Tweets October 30, 2019 MORE



Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey announced  yesterday that the platform will no longer accept paid political advertising. PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel issued the following statement:

“We respect Twitter’s decision to take a pause from running political advertising, recognizing that such ads on social media can have powerful distorting effects on public discourse. We cannot risk a repeat of the 2016 election where the scourge of misinformation raised serious questions about whether the Democratic process could be trusted. As a private platform, it is reasonable for Twitter to take the time to figure out whether and how the manifest ill consequences of micro-targeted ads can be mitigated. While political ads represent an important part of our democratic discourse, online advertising methods pose unique concerns that lawmakers, companies, and civil society are only beginning to understand, much less address. We welcome Twitter’s willingness to put responsibility above revenue in seeking to prevent its platform from misleading voters and polluting the democratic process.

“Still, we recognize that there are many unanswered questions and that this policy may have some unintended consequences, including, for example, advancing incumbents who rely less on ads. While we reserve judgement on how it may play out, we commend the effort to protect democratic deliberations and emphasize the role of ideas, language, and creativity – rather than money – as tools in the battle of ideas.”



Zuckerberg in 2005 courtesy of Elaine Chan and Priscilla Chan – Derived from: File:MarkZuckerberg.jpg under CC BY 2.5

“Right now, the content debate is about political ads. Should we block political ads with false statements? Should we block all political ads? Google, YouTube and most internet platforms run these same ads, most cable networks run these same ads, and of course national broadcasters are required by law to run them by FCC regulations. I think there are good reasons for this. In a democracy, I don’t think it’s right for private companies to censor politicians or the news. And although I’ve considered whether we should not carry these ads in the past, and I’ll continue to do so, on balance so far I’ve thought we should continue. Ads can be an important part of voice — especially for candidates and advocacy groups the media might not otherwise cover so they can get their message into debates. And it’s hard to define where to draw the line. Would we really block ads for important political issues like climate change or women’s empowerment? Instead, I believe the better approach is to work to increase transparency. Ads on Facebook are already more transparent than anywhere else. We have a political ads archive so anyone can scrutinize every ad that’s run — you can see every message, who saw it, how much was spent — something that no TV or print media does.” Mark Zuckerberg in his Community Update and quarterly results MORE

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This post is complied with details from PEN America, Twitter, Facebook, and Wikipedia

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PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. It champions the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Its mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.



Jamie Dedes. I’m a freelance writer, poet, content editor, and blogger. I also manage The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights and encourages activist poetry.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

About / Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook / Medium

Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications Poets Advocate for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, How 100,000 Poets Are Fostering Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019


“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

The Sun in His Wrath, the sixth poem in Linda Chown’s William Blake series

Image courtesy of and copyright The Morgan Library & Museum , William Blakes World/ William Blake (1757–1827)
“The Sun in His Wrath”

Blake’s Stage Directions : [“Milton led by Melancholy into the Groves away from the Suns flaring Beams who is seen in the Heavens throwing his darts & flames of fire The Spirits of the Trees on each side are seen under the domination of Insects raised by the Suns heat.”]



It is my honor and pleasure to bring you the sixth in what will be a series of ten Blake poems by the extraordinary American poet, Linda Chown.  /. J.D.

How this splurge of Blake’s fairytale painting haunts my soul
in its wispy lingering transcendental colors and mystery.
Spontaneous Blake always makes me want to study,
to know his axes whole and catch more turns
layered and hidden inside such trenchant color treasure.
It is like I need a whole new key to see
who’s who and what in this vast Cartesian shakedown.

Body and soul, heat and shade, green and orange
vibrate in my watch. Melancholy walks with book-bound
Milton in all his academic hesitation he goes
under Apollo cavorting his leg-spread body around.
See him again. Look how he mates the sun.
As always, Blake layers his 360 degrees
to let more come through. That strange crooked melon sun
draws these serious people and insects into opaque light.
Blake knew Milton would hide in his robes, wouldn’t he?
This world is all too fecund for him to see.
And this timidity cranks this sun energy crooked
The all mental mind that encloses itself
And hides in a forest crocks the sun’s heart-heat

Blake joyfully proffered once:
“He who kisses joy as it flies by
will live in eternity’s sunrise.”
No sunrise here, or joyful kissing.
Melancholy and a lot of missing.
This haunting half-hearted vision of intensity,
this twisted sun face stuck squeezed and squinting.

© 2019, Linda Chown

The other poems in Linda’s ongoing Blake-poem series:

  1. Refections into William Blake’s “Brutus and Caesar’s Ghost,” Linda Chown
  2. Cohering Clashes: Wiliam Blake’s “The Red Dragon and The Woman Clothed in the Sun,” Linda Chown
  3. This New Ending of the Beginning: William Blake’s “The Body of Abel Found by Adam and Eve,” Linda Chown
  4. Looking Up High: “The Wood of the Self-Murderers: The Harpies, and The Suicides,”Linda Chown
  5. Double Trouble: Lamech and His Two Wives, Linda Chown

Linda Chown

LINDA E. CHOWN grew up in Berkeley, Ca. in the days of action. Civil Rights arrests at Sheraton Palace and Auto Row.  BA UC Berkeley Intellectual History; MA Creative Writing SFSU; PHd Comparative Literature University of Washington. Four books of poetry. Many poems published on line at Numero Cinq, Empty Mirror, The BeZine, Dura, Poet Head and others. Many articles on Oliver Sachs, Doris Lessing, Virginia Woolf, and many others. Twenty years in Spain with friends who lived through the worst of Franco. I was in Spain (Granada, Conil and Cádiz) during Franco’s rule, there the day of his death when people took to the streets in celebration. Interviewed nine major Spanish Women Novelists, including Ana María Matute and Carmen Laforet and Carmen Martín Gaite.


Jamie Dedes. I’m a freelance writer, poet, content editor, and blogger. I also manage The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights and encourages activist poetry.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

About / Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook / Medium

Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications Poets Advocate for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, How 100,000 Poets Are Fostering Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019


“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton