Technology: Hundreds of employees criticize Facebook's political ad policies - Twitter in turn forbids certain - PressFrom - US
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Technology Hundreds of employees criticize Facebook's political ad policies

21:35  28 october  2019
21:35  28 october  2019 Source:   engadget.com

Analysis: Americans Don’t Just Want Facebook to Ban False Political Ads. They Want Them to Ban ALL Political Ads.

  Analysis: Americans Don’t Just Want Facebook to Ban False Political Ads. They Want Them to Ban ALL Political Ads. Mark Zuckerberg and the communications team at Facebook have been embroiled in controversy over the past few days, centered on whether the company has a responsibility to ferret out false or misleading political content and purge it from the platform. Zuckerberg has been defiant, citing similar policies by Twitter and others, saying it’s not Facebook’s role to police what is ultimately free expression. © REUTERS/Erin Scott Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies at a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington, U.S., October 23, 2019. The majority of Americans, however, think otherwise. A survey of over 1,600 U.S.

Over the past month, Facebook has come under criticism for allowing politicians to run false or misleading ads. Now, employees are speaking out. More than 250 Facebook employees wrote a letter addressed to CEO Mark Zuckerberg and top Facebook officials calling Facebook's political ad policies "a threat to what FB stands for."

Mark Zuckerberg wearing a black shirt

In the letter, obtained by The New York Times, the employees argue that allowing misinformation to run could increase distrust in Facebook and undermine Facebook's integrity. They recommend six ways to remedy the situation, including holding political ads to the same standards as other ads, restricting political ad targeting and clearer policies in general.

Twitter ceases all political advertising

  Twitter ceases all political advertising The company CEO says political messages should be "earned, not bought.""Internet political ads present entirely new challenges to civic discourse: machine learning-based optimization of messaging and micro-targeting, unchecked misleading information, and deep fakes," Dorsey said in an 11-tweet chain of messages. "All at increasing velocity, sophistication, and overwhelming scale.

As the letter states:

"Misinformation affects us all. Our current policies on fact checking people in political office, or those running for office, are a threat to what FB stands for. 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."

While we've seen Google employees speak out about company policies and Amazon employees walk out, internal dissent like this is fairly rare for Facebook. It could also be seen as a set back in the company's recent efforts to suggest that it has things under control.

Engadget has reached out to Facebook for comment.

The New York Times (1), (2)

A bug caused UK election ad spends to disappear on Facebook .
Earlier this week, an unspecified bug caused as many hundreds of thousands of political ads to disappear from Facebook's Ad Library, a tool the company rolled out globally earlier this year to provide more transparency on political spending. According to CNN Business, the bug caused ads to go missing in several countries across the world, including the UK. To say the Ad Library bugged out at the worst possible time would be an understatement. On Thursday, people in the UK will vote in what will likely go down as one of the most important elections in the country's history.

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