Peter Thiel desires Facebook to keep its questionable political advertisements policy

Peter Thiel

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Facebook board member Peter Thiel is recommending CEO Mark Zuckerberg to not fact-check advertisements from political leaders. 


Facebook has actually been under fire for enabling political leaders to depend on political advertisements, a questionable policy that’s being discussed internally amongst the business’s leaders. The social media’s long time board member Peter Thiel, a billionaire who was an early Facebook financier and who supports President Donald Trump, desires the social media to keep the policy regardless of all the criticism it’s amassed, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. 

Thiel’s position on the concern apparently varies from that a few of Facebook’s directors and executives who wish to alter the policy or restriction political advertisements.

“Many of the decisions we’re making at Facebook come with difficult trade-offs and we’re approaching them with careful rigor at all levels of the company, from the Board of Directors down,” a Facebook representative stated in a declaration to CNET. “We’re fortunate to have a Board with diverse experiences and perspectives so we can ensure debate that reflects a cross section of views.”

Thiel didn’t react to an ask for remark. 

The dispute about how to manage advertisements from political leaders shows the difficulties that included moderating political speech. Unlike other material on the website, Facebook does not send out advertisements from political leaders to third-party truth checkers. Critics, specifically Democrats, argue that Facebook’s hands-off method enables the spread of false information which political advertisements must be prohibited. But executives consisting of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has actually been promoting totally free expression and concerns that disallowing political advertisements might prefer incumbents and political prospects the media chooses to cover. Then there are claims by conservatives that Facebook is censoring their speech, which the business has actually consistently rejected. 

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Criticism about Facebook’s political ads policy started to heat up after the company rejected a request by Joe Biden’s presidential campaign to pull down an ad by President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign for spreading misinformation about the former vice president. Trump’s campaign ran a 30-second video on Facebook that stated Biden had promised Ukraine $1 billion if officials in that country fired the prosecutor investigating a company affiliated with Biden’s son. Trump’s campaign said that the ad was accurate, but the claims have been has been debunked by fact-checking groups and media reports.

Ahead of the 2020 US presidential election, other tech companies have made changes to their policies on political ads. Twitter decided to ban political ads, but the site’s policy includes an exception for hot-button issues like climate change and immigration. Google has limited the targeting for election ads. 

Some of Facebook’s employees have suggested different changes to the company’s political ads policy. That includes a stronger visual design so users know it’s a political ad, restricting ad targeting and capping the amount of money politicians can spend on these ads.

They’re tweaks that Facebook is considering, though it’s unclear when a decision will be made.

“As we’ve said, we are looking at different ways we might refine our approach to political ads,” a Facebook spokesperson said.