Tell Facebook: Stop allowing lies in political ads
Facebook stays evil. They just gave the green light for political ads packed with vicious lies to attack Democrats, and Facebook is letting it happen.
Recently, the Trump campaign launched a new Facebook ad that included false information about Joe Biden. The ad should have been rejected for violating the rules Facebook put into place to fight back the spread of misinformation after the 2016 election. But Facebook quietly changed those rules, opening the door for misleading ads to spread like wildfire on the platform, again.
Facebook's negligence is putting our democracy at risk. We must raise the alarm now.1 Our activism forced Facebook to change its rules before. We must harness that same grassroots power to expose and force Facebook to stop politicians from using its platform to spread dangerous lies once and for all.
Tell Facebook: Change your policy. Ban intentionally misleading political ads once and for all.
Facebook's ads system allows for advertising campaigns to hyper target users. But without proper vetting processes, morally bankrupt politicians can use Facebook to target specific groups of voters with ads that spread dangerous misinformation. In 2016, Facebook came under fire for its failure to protect 126 million user's data from right-wing political firm Cambridge Analytica and to keep Russian agents from using its ads to manipulate voters.3,4
With Trump brazenly obstructing Democrats' impeachment investigation and threatening civil war, the acting DHS secretary publicly obscuring the meaning of the First Amendment, and voter suppression on the rise the sanctity of our democracy has been at no greater risk than it is now.5,6,7 The last thing we need is for Facebook to fan the flames of authoritarianism. Giving Trump and his enablers a megaphone for his lies could empower him to lead another four years of wide-spread attacks on our families, communities and the Constitution. We can't let that happen.
Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook may think they are untouchable, but the fact is, the company relies on a large user base to remain profitable, and as a public corporation, shareholders have the power to force policy changes. The platform is already under investigation by Congress and dozens of state attorney general on several different issues ranging from election meddling to violating user data privacy to antitrust controversies. This latest secret rule change shows that Facebook hasn't learned its lesson. It also shows that as users and consumers we must remain vigilant and keep up the fight to protect our democracy from the greed and negligence of Big Tech.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other Democrats are leading the way by calling out Facebook for promoting and profiting from Trump's lies. Now, we must turn up the pressure. With the 2020 election fast approaching, we must act now to rein in Facebook.
- Popular Information, "Facebook says Trump can lie in his Facebook ads" Oct. 3, 2019.
- Will Fischer, "Facebook confirms Donald Trump can lie in ads, but he can't curse" Business Insider, Oct. 9, 2019.
- Tim Mak, "Senate Report: Russians Used Social Media Mostly To Target Race In 2016" NPR, Oct. 8, 2019.
- Olivia Solon and Sabrina Siddiqui, "Russia-backed Facebook posts 'reached 126m Americans' during US election" The Guardian, Oct. 30, 2017.
- Laurie Kellman, "Of treason and civil war: An agitated Trump amps up threats" Associated Press, Sept. 30, 2019.
- Kevin Collier "Russia likely to focus on voter suppression in 2020, feds warn states" CNN, Oct. 3, 2019.
- Julia Musto, "DHS secretary on being shouted off stage by protesters at Georgetown: I'm disappointed but not surprised'" Fox News, Oct. 9, 2019.
Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images