Mark Zuckerberg: People should make their own judgments on political ads

Elias Hubbard
December 3, 2019

Twitter, Facebook and Google have all laid out their stance on political advertising ahead of the United Kingdom elections - with Twitter banning ads by politicians while Google has said that they will ban ads that make "demonstrably false claims that could significantly undermine participation or trust in an electoral or democratic process".

Challenged on CBS over the policy, which has raised concerns over misinformation campaigns that could distort elections, Zuckerberg refused to commit to any changes.

"What I believe is that in a democracy, it's really important that people can see for themselves what politicians are saying so that they can make their own judgments", Zuckerberg said. "I don't think that a private company should be censoring politicians or news".

Zuckerberg, who appeared on the morning show with wife Priscilla Chan to discuss their philanthropic enterprise The Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, was asked about ongoing federal and state anti-trust investigations into the social media behemoth.

"We have removed this content following a valid intellectual property claim from the rights holder, the BBC", a Facebook spokeswoman said.

Asked about the letter during the CBS interview, Zuckerberg said "this is clearly a very complex issue".

But Zuckerberg's interest in the public being able "to see for themselves what politicians are saying" apparently ends when it comes to eating dinner with the USA president. "But I think it's important to not lose track of just the enormous good that can be done by bringing people together and building community".

Similar fears have played out in the United Kingdom ahead of its general election this month.

The BBC News Press Team issued a comment on 28 November, saying they are "aware of Conservative Party Facebook adverts using edited BBC content".

The corporation told the social network that the adverts infringed on its intellectual property rights, after claiming they could "damage perceptions of our impartiality".

The company has been accused of giving a mainstream platform to extremist groups, with Guardian US recently reporting how two white nationalist organizations continued to operate Facebook pages months after a promised ban.

Trump, who has vocally supported political ads, has openly castigated Facebook repeatedly, accusing it of being biased in favour of Democrats.

Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano on Facebook's removal of a fake ad of Sen. "Can you say?" King asks.

"No. I mean, I don't think that that's".

"We talked about a number of things that were on his mind and the topics that you'd read in the news around our work", said Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg refuted that Trump lobbied him in any way during the dinner, and then made a stunning statement: "I also want to respect that it was a private dinner with private discussion".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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