In a letter addressed to the company’s brass, more than 250 Facebook workers claimed the Silicon Valley giant’s recent shift to allow politicians to include false and misleading information in ads was “a threat to what FB stands for.”
“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,” says the letter sent about two weeks ago, which was obtained by the New York Times.
Facebook announced the change to its ad policy in September. It had previously banned ads that contained information which had been debunked by third-party fact-checking services, but will now allow them for the sake of “newsworthiness.”
The employee letter said that the new policy “communicates that we are OK profiting from deliberate misinformation campaigns by those in or seeking positions of power.”
It proposes that Facebook hold political ads to the same standard as other ads, make them easier to distinguish from regular posts and impose a spending cap for politicians.
Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Zuckerberg — who recently got targeted by Sen. Warren with a Facebook ad that falsely claimed he endorsed President Trump for reelection — nevertheless said at a hearing on Capitol Hill last week that he doesn’t believe Facebook should decide what politicians can and can’t say.
“I think lying is bad,” Zuckerberg said when pressed about the policy. “I think if you run an ad with a lie in it, that would be bad. But that’s different from Facebook preventing constituents from seeing that you have lied.”
Shares in the Menlo Park, Calif.-based social network finished the day up 0.8 percent, at $189.40.
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