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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

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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.

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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)

The Real Reason Facebook Won’t Fact-Check Political Ads .
When Twitter’s chief executive, Jack Dorsey, announced on Wednesday that Twitter would no longer host political advertisements, he scored points with those who lament the ways social media platforms have polluted political culture. At Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg responded by reaffirming that his company would continue to distribute political ads without fact-checking them. “In a democracy, I don’t think it’s right for private companies to censor politicians, or the news,” Mr. Zuckerberg said in a Wednesday earnings conference call.Sign Up For the Morning Briefing NewsletterFacebook’s decision to refrain from policing the claims of political ads is not unreasonable.

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