Mark Zuckerberg said earlier this month in a speech that Facebook does not check political ads for their actual truth. “We do not choose to help politicians, but because we think that people should see for themselves what politicians say. And if the content is newsworthy, we will not take it offline, even if this conflicts with our guidelines. ”
According to the CEO, his company is “a champion and a bastion of free speech.” Political advertisements are an important way to make your voice heard, especially for local candidates, new challengers and interest groups that would otherwise not receive much media attention. Banning political advertisements favors incumbent politicians and those who get media attention, ”it then sounded.
In the letter, signed by 250 employees, staff expresses their dissatisfaction with Facebook’s policy on political advertisements. “We are concerned that in this way we will destroy the good steps that our product teams have taken in the area of integrity over the past two years, Our policy on fact-checking politicians or people who have stood for election is a danger to what Facebook stands for, ”write the employees.
With Zuckerberg, employees want to “look for solutions” for the future. The focus must be on both the business interests and the people who use Facebook. Some proposals are already made in the letter. For example, employees think it should be clearer when it comes to a political advertisement. Such advertisements must also be treated in the same way as normal advertisements.
The letter has been circulating for two weeks on Facebook Workplace, a platform that is used for internal communication within Facebook. Today the letter was published by the newspaper “The New York Times.” Facebook has around 35,000 employees. Bertie Thomson, a spokesperson for Facebook, tells ‘The New York Times’ that the company is sticking to its decision not to “censor political messages”.
In recent years, Facebook has regularly been under fire because of the lax approach to fake news and disinformation and the company’s inability to quickly take violent content that spread through the network like an oil slick all over the world offline. Subsequently, several new calls were made for new, stricter regulation.