This morning I posted that Facebook and Twitter have taken the position that they will accept political ads that contain lies because they don’t feel it’s in their best interest to fact check claims made in the ads.
Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren put Facebook to the test by running an ad on Facebook falsely claiming that Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg have publicly announced their endorsement of Trump for president. Facebook said it will let the ad run. “If Senator Warren wants to say things she knows to be untrue, we believe Facebook should not be in the position of censoring that speech,” Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone told CNN.
“Either Facebook doesn’t touch the ad and the ad is therefore noteworthy, or they touch the ad and it’s noteworthy,” Dave Karpf, an associate professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University, told CNN. “It’s a smart tactical move.”
Warren has become one of Facebook’s key antagonists after first calling for it and other Silicon Valley giants — such as Amazon, Google and Apple — to be broken up. But her rift with Facebook deepened after leaked audio published by The Verge revealed Zuckerberg fretting about the potential consequences of a Warren presidency.
“If she gets elected president, then I would bet that we will have a legal challenge, and I would bet that we will win the legal challenge,” Zuckerberg is heard saying at a companywide meeting. “And does that still suck for us? Yeah. I mean, I don’t want to have a major lawsuit against our own government. … But look, at the end of the day, if someone’s going to try to threaten something that existential, you go to the mat and you fight.”
Warren responded via Twitter, “What would really ‘suck’ is if we don’t fix a corrupt system that lets giant companies like Facebook engage in illegal anticompetitive practices, stomp on consumer privacy rights, and repeatedly fumble their responsibility to protect our democracy.
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I’m old enough to have watched Schoolhouse Rock educational cartoons when they premiered on television.
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