Facebook refuses to fact-check political ads, and it's infuriating employees and lawmakers. Here's why the issue has become Facebook's latest major controversy. (FB)

Business Insider Politics 0 month ago
  • The last few weeks have been especially tumultuous for Facebook.
  • The latest issue concerns political advertising on Facebook, and Facebook's policy not to fact-check that advertising.
  • "Facebook exempts politicians from our third-party fact-checking program," VP of global affairs and communication Nick Clegg wrote in late September. "We rely on third-party fact-checkers to help reduce the spread of false news and other types of viral misinformation, like memes or manipulated photos and videos."
  • "We don't believe, however, that it's an appropriate role for us to referee political debates and prevent a politician's speech from reaching its audience and being subject to public debate and scrutiny," Clegg said.
  • Facebook execs have defended the controversial decision with arguments about freedom of speech, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg even delivered an hour-long speech at Georgetown University where he argued Facebook's stance. 
  • Here's why Facebook's stance on political ads stance has become so controversial, and where the situation is at right now.  
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Facebook is embroiled in yet another controversy, but this time it's not about your data: It's about foreign interference in American elections, and partisan politics, and freedom of speech.

It all stems from a relatively simple announcement Facebook recently made about how its advertising works. In short, Facebook refuses to fact-check political ads that run on its platform.

"We don't fact-check political ads," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a wide-ranging speech at Georgetown University in mid-October. "We don't do this to help politicians, but because we think people should be able to see for themselves what politicians are saying. And if content is newsworthy, we also won't take it down even if it would otherwise conflict with many of our standards."

But that decision — one that Zuckerberg frames around freedom of speech and American traditional values — has proved highly controversial. Here's what's going on.

In late September, Nick Clegg, Facebook's vice president of global affairs and communications, laid out Facebook's policy on political ads: "Facebook exempts politicians from our third-party fact-checking program."

Facebook says this isn't about the money it makes from running political ads.

So, what is it about? According to Zuckerberg, it's about free speech.

Critics — including Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — argue that Facebook is doing a disservice to the public by not fact-checking political ads. Facebook's own employees wrote a letter to Zuckerberg challenging the decision.

No matter where you land on the controversy, one thing is for certain: It's a tremendously complicated issue.

Source link
Read also:
Business Insider › Politics › 2 weeks ago
In an interview with CNBC, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel said all ads on Snapchat — including political ads — are subject to fact-checking and review. Snap's policy puts it somewhere between Facebook, which doesn't fact-check political ads, and Twitter...
Business Insider › Politics › 1 month ago
Hundreds of Facebook employees are asking the company to change its policies on political ads, according to an internal letter obtained by The New York Times. The social network currently refuses to fact-check ads from politicians, allowing them to lie...
Business Insider › Politics › 1 month ago
Katie Couric questioned Sheryl Sandberg about Facebook's policy regarding political ads at the Vanity Fair New Establishment summit on Tuesday. Last month, Facebook announced that it would not fact-check political ads on the platform. Since then...
The Week › 1 month ago
Facebook employees are giving the company's political advertising policies a dislike. In a letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, more than 250 Facebook employees blast the platform's policy not to remove ads from politicians that contain false claims, which...
Breitbart › Politics › 3 weeks ago
On Friday's broadcast of HBO's "Real Time," host Bill Maher defended Facebook refusing to fact-check political ads by stating he doesn't want "political | Clips
Business Insider › Politics › 3 weeks ago
Facebook has rejected calls to ban political ads on its platform ahead of a general election in the UK on December 12. The company told journalists on Thursday that it wanted to allow politicians and candidates to speak to voters through paid ads...
CNBC › Technology › 1 month ago
Facebook, by contrast, said it would not fact-check or remove ads placed by politicians, sparking backlash from lawmakers and employees.
The Inquisitr › Politics › 3 weeks ago
Facebook recently committed to allowing political ads to run on their platform without fact-checking them, which has been criticized by some who believe the company should be responsible for determining if an ad on its platform is true or false. Others...
Business Insider › Politics › 1 month ago
Facebook got negative press earlier this month after letting Donald Trump run an ad containing false statements about Joe Biden. A Facebook spokesman said political ads are not subject to third-party fact-checking, but ads from brands and ordinary...
The Wall Street Journal › Technology › 1 month ago
A group of Facebook employees asked the company to reverse its policy of exempting political candidates’ ads from its own fact-checking program, calling the controversial rules a betrayal of the social-media giant’s values.
Sign In

Sign in to follow sources and tags you love, and get personalized stories.

Continue with Google