Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) taken down an ad of a political group that falsely claims the support of Lindsay Graham, a Republican senator, for democrats proposed Green New Deal. According to a communiqué from Facebook, the ad qualifies for truth checking because it comes from a political group and not from a politician. It exhibits the commitment of the social media giant to allow only truthful ads. However, Facebook is reluctant to fact check ads from politicians and enables the ads in original form citing freedom of speech in a democracy.
Ocasio asks a series of questions to Mark
Alexandria Ocasio Cortez questioned Chief Executive Officer of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, on the backdrop of the company allowing a fake ad about Graham at a congressional hearing on October 23, 2019. Mark is in a controversy because of his refusal to fact check the ads from politicians. He struggled to explain his company’s ad policy on allowing misleading political ads on its platform. The congress members grilled the CEO on several issues like data privacy, content moderation, diversity, and hate speech rather than the Libra crypto project. CEO said he would take down the misinformation that promotes violence and resulting physical harm.
Politicians spent $63 million for ads
Politicians, who aim for the upcoming election, spent $63 million to market themselves on Google and Facebook. The spending on digital ad buys to support the campaign of Trump is $24 million. One of the ads from Trump’s campaign falsely accuses Joe Biden, the former Vice President, offering billions of dollars to Ukrainian officials to take down the case against Hunter, the son of Biden. Facebook refused to remove the misleading ad on request from the Biden campaign. Public policy director (Global Relations) of Facebook, Katie Harbath, said the company is committed to allowing free speech and respect the democratic process. She said Facebook does not send the ad or speech of a politician for fact-checking by a third-party.
The executives at Facebook say the social media is neutral in its approach when someone raises the issue of false, distorted, and hateful information on its platform. However, most critics argue that Facebook’s approach is not truly neutral. The social media platform is favoring the candidates in their quest to win the election by spreading false information (without any accountability). Facebook CEO is under criticism from his employees for allowing misleading political ads. They said such advertisements are a threat to Facebook’s policy.