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.
- The last few weeks have been especially tumultuous for Facebook.
- The latest issue concerns political advertising on
- "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 Zuckerbergeven delivered an hour-long speech at Georgetown University where he argued Facebook's stance.
- Here's why Facebook's stance on
political adsstance has become so controversial, and where the situation is at right now.
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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.