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11.20.19
Factcheck Please

Facebook: Misleading Political Ads Are Important “Discourse”

October 24th 19__Dan Robitzski__Filed Under: Future Society
Facebook/Victor Tangermann

The Discourse

Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, says that dishonest advertisements political candidates put on Facebook should stay there because they represent important discourse.

“We’re not doing this for the money,” Sandberg said during a Vanity Fair summit on Tuesday, according to Gizmodo. “We take political ads because we really believe they are part of political discourse,” she added.

It’s a troubling — and likely disingenuous — argument from a leader of one of the largest social media platforms in the world.

Not Our Problem

The line of questioning was based on recent reports that Facebook won’t take down political ads that are demonstrably false.

Sandberg’s talking points on the matter, however, largely serve to illustrate how little Facebook wants to deal with misinformation shared on its platform.

Grassroots Propaganda

Sandberg told the crowd that Facebook’s political ad system lets candidates spread their messages even if the media doesn’t cover them.

“If you look at this over time, the people who have the most benefited from being able to run ads are people who are not covered by the media so they can’t get their message out,” she said.

And if they’re flat-out lying? Well, that’s “the price of free speech,” Sandberg said.

READ MORE: Sheryl Sandberg: We Let Politicians Lie in Facebook Ads for the ‘Discourse,’ Not the Money [Gizmodo]

More on Facebook: Russia Accuses Facebook of Meddling in its Election. Seriously.