Truth or dare: the real reason Facebook won’t ‘unfriend’ lying politicians
The social media giant would be even bigger target on Capitol Hill if it vetted election ads
Facebook does not want to be the arbiter of truth. That, at least, is what Mark Zuckerberg keeps telling us. In advance of a recent speech at Georgetown University in Washington DC, defending his decision not to fact-check political adverts, he said: “I don’t think people want to live in a world where you can only say things that tech companies decide are 100% true.”
It’s a superficially plausible argument for anyone who regards Facebook’s enormous powers of censorship – covering 2.45 billion people at the last count – with alarm. The problem is that it contradicts what Zuckerberg himself has been saying for the past three years.
The firestorm over Facebook’s new policy has now been burning for more than a month. Numerous deliberately false adverts have been uploaded to test it, in some cases forcing Facebook to break the spirit of its own policy and ban them anyway...