Mark Zuckerberg is not budging about political ads on Facebook

Last week I wrote about Sacha Baron Cohen’s speech to the Anti-Defamation League about the way that social media companies amplify and spread hate. A month before, Zuck got blasted by AOC about Facebook’s hands-off approach to political ads, which the network refuses to fact-check. On Monday, Zuck was on CBS This Morning with his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, to talk with Gayle King about the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, and Gayle asked about the political ads. Predictably, Zuck dug in his heels and didn’t budge:

Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg sang his same old tunes on CBS This Morning today, answering co-host Gayle King’s questions about political ads and anti-trust issues with seemingly well-rehearsed bromides about free speech and the value of “bringing people together.”

Zuckerberg has repeatedly refused to hold Facebook political ads to a standard of truth, despite 200 of his own employees urging him to reconsider the policy, noting “free speech and paid speech are not the same.”

“Well, this is clearly a very complex issue,” Zuckerberg said… “and a lot of people have a lot of different opinions. At the end of the day, I just think that in a democracy, people should be able to see for themselves what politicians are saying.”

[From Deadline]

This reminds me of the really weak defense, “Let’s agree to disagree,” which people often say when they don’t want to have their (often bigoted) views challenged. No, Mark. It’s not a “very complex issue.” It’s about whether someone is telling the truth or lying. That’s it. And sure, people should be able to read what politicians are saying. Absolutely. That’s not the problem. The problem is politicians being able to spread misinformation. People should be made aware when what a politician has said is complete bullish-t. And if you provide a platform for BS and don’t make good-faith efforts to point out what’s willful deceit, you’re complicit (ask Ivanka what it means) in the problem. Sacha was right when he pointed out that it’s all about money for these companies.

Zuck was also cagey when Gayle asked him about his dinner with Trump. He’s probably getting pressed by Trump and others to ignore the content of ads. It’s a total sh-tshow. I’m very nervous about the election and the way that these issues are going to escalate over the next several months. I just hope that this decision eventually bites Zuck hard.

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26 Responses to “Mark Zuckerberg is not budging about political ads on Facebook”

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  1. Sierra says:

    I cancelled my Facebook over the weekend.

    Zucher is evil and he is totally in it with the Republicans and Trump.

    • InVain says:

      I left FB 6.5 years ago and have never looked back or regretted it. It’s very liberating.

      • Astrid says:

        I left FB before the 2016 elections. It was getting so ugly. I haven’t looked back or regretted it.

    • Gina says:

      Me too!

      Facebook is dying out. Ironically – or maybe not – they have the same problem as Fox news. An aging audience that is literally dying off. I heard that in the next 10 years, Facebook is going to become essentially an online graveyard.

    • Mellllll says:

      THIS is what has to happen. If you can’t or won’t delete your account, consider deleting it from your phone. Consider deleting messenger. Spend less time on the platform. Zuck won’t hear anything but the sound of declining usership/revenue.

  2. Sean says:

    A discussion about Facebook accepting payments in rubles to allow Cambridge Analytica to collect data and spread propaganda is looong overdue by our media.

  3. Laura says:

    Fuck these two scoundrels. 21st century robber barons, only instead of despoiling the environment they’re helping ruin the republic.

  4. Tiffany says:

    Yeah, there is a reason that Anthony Fremont is cozying up to Casino and his ilk, he does not want the Dems to get all three branches because they are making it a goal to break up whatever he is doing at Facebook and see where the bodies are buried. They have not forgotten about 2016 and he knows it.

  5. adastraperaspera says:

    Why would he? Destabilizing western democracies is the dream of his first investor, evil genius Peter Thiel. And then there’s all the money he got from Russian investors who are keen to knock the stuffing out of us. Thanks for selling out your country, Zuck! Oh, and thanks for hand-picking a presidential candidate for us too–your old classmate Pete Buttigieg (Facebook User #287). I bet he’ll make sure you never get regulated.

    “Russia Funded Facebook and Twitter Investments Through Kushner Investor”

  6. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    Remember when Zukerberg was going to force Native Hawaiians to sell their ancestral lands so he could buy them out on Kauai? Then after the huge public outcry he said he changed his mind? Well after a few months when the public forgot all about it . . . he went ahead and forced the auction after all. The man is evil. Please do not use Facebook or Instagram.

  7. Ann says:

    I got rid of my facebook about 2 weeks ago. Haven’t totally deleted it. I will need to take the time to go through everything because I’ve been on it since 2005 and all of my 20s are on it. I do miss it sometimes. I get FOMO because my coworkers all share jokes and stuff on FB, but it’s a passing feeling.

    Zuckerberg has gone full blown evil and clearly has no idea what he’s doing. He’s getting money and power from so many terrible people and he simply does not care. He is so insulated and rich and powerful that he will likely never face consequences so what else is there to do but boycott his platforms?

  8. anon says:

    Mark Zuckerberg is a sociopath who will stop at nothing to get his way. See also: The Winklevoss Twins, who are probably somewhere on a boat in the Mediterranean raising a toast and congratulating each other that they dodged a bullet.

  9. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    At the end of the day, he’s still a white bloke who pilfered various ideas, collated and lucked himself into a billion dollar social app. If users lie, they lie. And users, in his world, are users. Whether they’re bought up front or accrue incremental earnings through app activity, he’s only interested in broad strokes. If he has to start policing, where will that road lead? Mind you, I’m not defending him on any level. I simply think his humanity knows no depth.

  10. Mumbles says:

    I’m surprised that Sheryl Sandberg, patron saint of phony girlboss feminism, has gotten out unscathed. She’s a big Dem donor on paper but her billions are linked to the success of Facebook, nice way to play both sides of the fence. Yes, Facebook is Zuckerberg’s company, but she could walk away with her billions and do her Lean In crap. But she won’t, because she loves being associated with Facebook.

  11. Chimney says:

    Totally evil man with hair stolen from an 8 year old boy.

    I deleted my Facebook about 5 years ago and haven’t looked back. To those considering pulling the plus on fb, you may miss out on funny memes, but you’ll also miss out on racist stuff from people you thought were okay. Special bonus you also get to dodge soft social experiments carried out by the wealthy and corrupt. Enjoy!

    • Not today says:

      LOL, 8 year old boy hair. All that money and hair that looks like that? That’s a crime in and of itself.

  12. B1155 says:

    I have a family member who works for facebook. The stuff he is working on makes me very concerned of how facebook will evolve over the years….example they have people who are working on something that can do some good with the AI tech research such as integrity support (protecting users) but I wonder how else they will use AI to benefit themselves and their stakeholders, that harms facebook users in the end.

  13. ariel says:

    Because for him – there is no such thing as “enough” money.
    Or is there something deeper- does he long for a world of authoritarianism- no one bitching about income inequality or corruption- those who do- are killed or imprisoned.
    That is the world he is fighting for.
    May god have mercy on his soul.

  14. Q T Hush says:

    Right on Ariel!!
    Even his looks are complying with his corrupt soul. I’m sure the bullies had a party with a grade school Mark Zuckerberg. No matter how much money or power he obtains he’ll forever be haunted by his schoolyard biullies.

  15. Jumpingthesnark says:

    Ugh! He is the worst! The entire tech industry needs regulating. Hopefully the (Democrat) presidential candidate will win AND have the guts to regulate high tech.

  16. CatMom says:

    I can’t stand him or stupid Facebook. I left Facebook almost 7 years ago. Don’t miss it one bit.

  17. BB says:

    I do not use FB so I would liek to know… What’s the difference in FB letting corrupt ads run and tv (or other sources) letting corrupt ads run? ALL of the politicians lie to us about themselves…and tell us lies about their opponents….so why is FB different than other marketing channels?