Will Facebook Be Revising Its Stance on Political Ads?
Facebook is now taking the initiative to address growing pressure over its refusal to verify the reliability of political ads and being "hands-off" political messages posted by government officials and electoral candidates on the platform.
Business Insider reported that in December last year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had said during a speech he delivered in Georgetown University, that they don't validate or fact-check political ads on Facebook.
He added, "We don't do this" to help the political figures but be because he explained, they think people should be able to know first-hand, what both present and aspiring government leaders are saying.
And if the content politicians are posting of Facebook is newsworthy, said Zuckerberg, they wouldn't remove it as well, even if it otherwise conflicted with many of the company's standards.
Hands-Off No More, to Block all Ads from Other Nations
The social media company said, during the US election, it will "block ads from foreign state media." Also, according to Facebook, it during the said period, it will allow users to hide all "paid-for political messages."
This initiative comes with the leading social media company, under increased pressure over its so-called "hands-off" strategy to provocative posts as well as misinformation.
Nick Clegg, the head of global affairs of Facebook recognized, the firm "fell short during a contentious poll" where it has recognized Russia-supported content which reached over 125 million Americans through this platform.
Clegg said on Wednesday, through the UK's Daily Telegraph newspaper, Facebook would block all ads coming from state-controlled media organizations from other nations in the US during elections.
To Allow Users to Block Ads
Facebook and Instagram recently announced they are allowing their US users to "turn off" political campaigns in their feeds.
The block feature is set to roll out to all users of the US in the next weeks ahead. According to a news release from Facebook, the said feature will include campaigns from PACs or political action committees.
However, still, in response to the decision of Twitter to include fact-check labels on some of the tweets of US President Donald Trump, Zuckerberg said, Facebook should not be the mediator of all the things people say online.
Meanwhile, Joe Biden, Presumptive Democratic presidential candidate recently launched a campaign telling the Zuckerberg-led company to enact rules forbid intimidating and bullying behavior and lies about the manner of voting.
The said campaign, according to reports, also proposes a "two-week period" before the election, in which all political campaigns need fact-checking before appearing on Facebook.
FB to Help People Register to Vote
The Facebook CEO also expressed his intention to assist four million people in voting through the new Voting Information Center of the platform. This, Zuckerberg explained, is where "people can get information about registration in order to vote."
The platform's said new feature also enables users to request a mail-in or absentee ballot, depending on the guidelines being implemented in their state.
Zuckerberg, who called voting the lone "most powerful expression of democracy" said, it is the social media platform's responsibility not just to stop voter suppression, but to actively back well-informed voter registration, engagement and turnout, as well.
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