Biden campaign asks Facebook to fact-check politicians
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign published a letter it sent to Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday calling on the company to fact-check politicians’ ads, especially in the two weeks ahead of U.S. presidential elections.
The letter also demanded that Facebook start removing false, viral information and that there be clear rules applied to everyone, including Donald Trump, that prohibit threatening behavior and lies about how to participate in the election. The line was a clear attack on Trump for his outspokenness against absentee voting.
“We live in a democracy, where the elected officials decide the rules around campaigns,” Facebook said in a response to the letter.
The Biden campaign’s letter puts additional heat on Facebook, which currently exempts politicians’ content from its third-party fact-checking, to change its rules on political speech.
Last week, Zuckerberg promised a full review of Facebook’s current content policies after the company received backlash from taking no action on a post by President Trump that was labeled by Twitter to be in violation of their rules. Twitter also used a fact-checking label on a tweet by Trump about mail-in ballots, causing him to accuse the company of censorship and to issue an executive order against social media companies.
Trump’s campaign called the letter from Biden totally out of line and insulting to American voters.
“The American people can think for themselves. They don’t want big tech companies telling them how to think,” said Tim Murtaugh, a Trump campaign spokesman.
Facebook posted a blog that pointed out the clear political debate that was shaping up around social media. They showed how the issue has become partisan.
“Two weeks ago, the President of the United States issued an executive order directing Federal agencies to prevent social media sites from engaging in activities like fact-checking political statements. This week, the Democratic candidate for president started a petition calling on us to do the exact opposite,” it said, referring to an executive order that aimed to scrap or weaken a law that shields internet companies from liability for users’ content,” the blog post read.
On Thursday, Biden’s campaign emailed supporters asking them to sign a petition calling on Facebook to put an end to misinformation in political ads.
“With less than 150 days until Election Day, the stakes couldn’t be higher. We’ve got to fix Facebook to protect our democracy and ensure fair elections. If you agree, sign the open letter today to demand Facebook take action. #MoveFastFixIt,” Biden tweeted.
Facebook is unlikely to venture into this new political territory. Zuckerberg has not indicated he’ll make any changes other than to review his company’s current policies.
Scroll down to comment!