DNC Blasts Facebook For Allowing Trump Ad Blitz To Spread False Claims

on April 10, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Facebook co-founder, Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a combined Senate Judiciary and Commerce committee on April 10, 2018. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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October 1, 2019 2:35 p.m.

The Democratic National Committee’s CEO criticized Facebook on Tuesday for its refusal to fact check posts from politicians, including those of President Donald Trump as the President goes on an anti-impeachment crusade on the social giant’s platform.

DNC CEO Seema Nanda said in an emailed state to TPM that the organization was “deeply disappointed” in Facebook for exempting political candidates from its third-party fact checking policy, a move she argued allows Trump to “mislead the American people on their platform unimpeded.”

“Social media platforms have a responsibility to protect our democracy and counter disinformation online,” Nanda said. “This is a serious missed opportunity by Facebook.”

Trump’s reelection campaign has begun a massive Facebook ad blitz to attack House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry against the President. CNN reported that the campaign has funneled $600,000 to $2 million into the ads, which also spread Trump’s false claim that 2020 rival Joe Biden promised Ukraine “$1 BILLION DOLLARS” if the government fired a prosecutor.

Facebook Vice President of Global Affairs and Communications Nick Clegg explained the exemption rule last week in a blog post, writing that the social media giant does not believe it’s “appropriate” for Facebook to “referee political debates and prevent a politician’s speech from reaching its audience and being subject to public debate and scrutiny.”

Therefore, Facebook “will not send organic content or ads from politicians to our third-party fact-checking partners for review,” according to Clegg.

“We have a responsibility to protect the platform from outside interference, and to make sure that when people pay us for political ads we make it as transparent as possible,” the Facebook executive said during a speech last week, according to a transcript in the blog post. “But it is not our role to intervene when politicians speak.”

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