Facebook has received a lot of very negative headlines over the past year. The social media giant has been under scrutiny for many things. However, one of the most controversial topics involves refusing to remove political ads that contain false info. They will not hire people to check every political ad to make sure they are all factual. This has infuriated many people in the Democratic party who do not want President Donald Trump to be able to post false ads that say negative things about his opponents. Facebook’s stance has always been that they do not want to censor politicians. Facebook has also refused to totally ban political ads from their platform.
Some of the other large tech companies have taken a much different approach where political ads a concerned. For example, Snapchat has taken the extreme action of hiring a team of people who verify all claims that are made in political ads that are submitted to them. Twitter has gone so far as to ban political ads outright. CEO Jack Dorsey feels that it is not good for his company to become involved with polarizing politics. He believes that the negatives far outweigh the positives.
There is always a chance that Facebook might reverse this decision at some point later this year. Public anger over blatantly false ads posted by Trump’s campaign might end up forcing Facebook’s hand. As of right now, there is no indication from the world’s biggest social network that anything is going to change between now and election day. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been talking about possible changes that the company could make with respect to the way they handle political ads. However, none of those changes have been implemented as of yet.
The reason that people are angry about the way Facebook is dealing with false political ads dates back to the 2016 election. This was when Russian groups started to post ads that supported Trump and criticized Hillary Clinton. The ads remained posted for a very long time before Facebook finally took them down and admitted that Russians were behind them. People are concerned that more underhanded things could happen on Facebook as the election draws near. It seems that Facebook wants to wash their hands of the whole 2020 election and stay out of it. They would be able to do that if they refused to post political ads.