Snap CEO Evan Spiegel says that Snapchat fact-checks political ads: 'We don't allow things like misinformation to appear in that advertising'

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  • 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, which has banned political ads entirely, in the heated debate over what role social media platforms should play in moderating paid political speech.
  • Spiegel told CNBC that Snap wants to create a space for its younger user base to "engage with the political conversation" without misinformation.
  • However, Snap has a much smaller ad business than Facebook, which means reviewing each ad may be an easier task for Snap than it is for its larger rival.
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Snap CEO Evan Spiegel told CNBC in an interview Monday that the company subjects "all advertising to review, including political advertising." That includes fact-checking, he said.

Spiegel said that Snap wants to create a space for its younger-skewing user base to "engage with the political conversation, but we don't allow things like misinformation to appear in that advertising."

A spokesperson for the company says that every ad is vetted by a team of humans to make sure that it follows Snapchat's guidelines, which prohibits being misleading or deceptive. The spokesperson says that Snap has indeed banned a small number of ads under this review process.

Spiegel's comments make Snap the latest social media company to weigh in on political ads, in a heated debate that has already ensnared Facebook, Twitter, and Google.

With its review policy, Snap appears to be staking a middle ground between Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook has faced intense criticism from lawmakers and its own employees over its refusal to fact-check political ads on its platform. In a jab at Facebook, Twitter took the opposite approach, saying it will ban political ads entirely, though questions remain about how Twitter will enforce the policy in practice.

Google has remained relatively quiet on the matter, but did ban political ads in Canada ahead of an election earlier this year, saying it would be hard to comply with the country's new transparency rules.

It's also worth noting that Snap has a substantially smaller digital advertising business than Facebook, which also might make it more realistic to proactively review content than its larger rivals.

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