© Greg Nash
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSchumer requests Senate briefing on Ukraine amid Russia tensions Bipartisan Senate group discusses changes to election law There is a bipartisan path forward on election and voter protections MORE (R-Ky.) on Wednesday argued that Twitter's recent decision to ban all political ads meant the platform was "picking winners and losers."
"Twitter's leadership has tried to produce a rationale for banishing paid political speech, but the argument boils down to the same misunderstanding that has been used to undermine free speech for decades,” McConnell said from the Senate floor.
Twitter announced late last month that it was banning all political ads, earning the social media company praise from Democrats and quick backlash from conservatives.
Twitter's policy, which the company will officially unveil in mid-November, will ban ads that refer to an election or candidate, and those that "advocate for or against legislative issues of national importance," according to the company.
McConnell argued the move should spark a broader debate about what qualifies as political advocacy on social media.
Twitter, according to McConnell, has to decide if it will ban opinion journalists or reporters from advertising their own work or they’ll be creating an “enormous double standard.”
“[It] would just amplify the already privileged speakers who already posses multimillion-dollar platforms. It would just help clear the field for those elites by denying the same tools to fledgling speakers who are not already famous,” McConnell said.
He added that Twitter’s policy does “not bolster our democracy. It would degrade democracy. It would amplify the advantage of media companies, celebrities and certain other established elites while denying an important tool to the Americans who disagree with them.”