ICT, Government - Zuck Doubles Down On Lying Ads
Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg is remaining defiant and insisting the social media giant will continue to take money for political ads even if they contain false information.
In an interview to be broadcast Monday morning on an American television network - and specifically in response to a question about Facebook running ads that knowingly lie to users - Zuckerberg said that he doesn't think that reigning in politicians' lies is in his line of work.
"What I believe is that in a democracy it's really important that people can see for themselves what politicians are saying, so they can make their own judgments," Zuckerberg said to Gayle King of CBS News. "And, you know, I don't think that a private company should be censoring politicians or news."
This policy, announced in October in an appearance at Georgetown University in Washington DC, basically holds that politicians can make virtually any claim they want, in ads or posts, including repeating verbatim a false claim that has already been labeled elsewhere as false.
It prompted about 200 Facebook employees to sign on to a letter asking Zuckerberg to reconsider that position, nothing that "free speech and paid speech are not the same".
"Misinformation affects us all," the letter read. "We strongly object to this policy as it stands. It doesn't protect voices, but instead allows politicians to weaponize our platform by targeting people who believe that content posted by political figures is trustworthy."
Others disagree with Zuckerberg's claim of protecting free speech. Filmmaker and actor Sasha Baron Cohen told Anti-Defamation League last month that he believes it is "time for a fundamental rethink of social media and how it spreads hate, conspiracies, and lies", and charged Zuckerberg "would have let Hitler buy ads" to promote the Holocaust.
Former US Secretary of State, Senator, and First Lady Hillary Clinton recently said that Zuckerberg "should pay a price" for harming democracy around the world.