Demand Facebook follow Twitter’s lead: Ban political ads and stop profiting off Trump’s lies!

  • by: OD Action
  • recipient: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

On October 30th, Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey announced that the popular social networking service would ban all political advertisements in an effort to root out rampant misinformation campaigns the company sees as an existential threat to modern democracy. According to Dorsey, the scale and potency of these campaigns of deception present "significant ramifications that today's democratic infrastructure may not be prepared to handle."

"May not" is putting things lightly. Russia's sustained attacks on western democracy, the open embrace of wildly dishonest misinformation campaigns by fringe and mainstream groups alike and none other than President Trump's great gaslighting of America are proof positive that our "democratic infrastructure" is woefully ill-equipped for the quagmire engulfing us.

It's telling, then, that Facebook has thus far failed to follow suit. Staking out a muddier position cloaked in free speech, co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has suggested that banning blatantly dishonest advertisements is analogous to censorship, anathema to democratic values. Political ads, according to Zuck, are "newsworthy."

There may come a time when our political and civic infrastructure is better equipped to regulate and mitigate the wholesale subterfuge of the democratic process, but we clearly aren't there yet. The gatekeepers of information (and misinformation) in this brave new world should exercise some semblance of common sense when it comes to disseminating destructive political propaganda.

Demand Facebook follow Twitter's lead and ban political advertisements. In the absence of comprehensive policy from DC, Brussels and beyond, it's the prudent and bare minimum thing to do.

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