Zuckerberg Defends Facebook's Political Ads Policy

Headline Roundup October 20th, 2019

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg doubled down on the company's decision to forgo fact-checking political ads on the platform this week, arguing that "people should be able to see for themselves what politicians are saying." Speaking at Georgetown University, the billionaire executive called digital speech the new "fifth estate" and said the move -- which reverses a previous policy banning political ads containing “false or misleading content" -- would help protect it. He did not take questions from reporters.

The comments triggered a new wave of debate about the tech giant's responsibility in regulating information on the platform. Democrats and civil rights groups have condemned the policy, claiming that it gives candidates a pass to lie and spread misinformation. Some conservatives, meanwhile, have applauded it for upholding free speech.

Zuckerberg Defends Facebook's Political Ads Policy

From the Left
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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg decried the dangers of censorship. He invoked civil rights icons Martin Luther King Jr. and Frederick Douglass, and hailed the contributions of protesters stretching from World War I to Black Lives Matter. And he delivered a pointed attack on critics who “no longer trust their fellow citizens” to sort out facts from falsehoods online.

The social media mogul’s 37-minute speech Thursday, delivered in a stained-glass hall at Georgetown University, was Facebook’s most assertive effort to date to repel the wave of assaults it’s facing from across...

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From the Center
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Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday defended the social network's decision not to send speech from politicians to third-party fact-checkers, a move that's drawn scrutiny, especially from Democrats in the US.

"I don't think most people want to live in a world where you can only post things that tech companies judge to be 100% true," Zuckerberg said during a nearly 40-minute speech at Georgetown University.

The remarks highlight the social network's controversial approach to political speech as it tries to strike a balance between free speech...

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From the Right
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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the social media behemoth considered banning political ads, but ultimately chose not to do so in order to protect free speech.

“Given the sensitivity around political ads, I’ve considered whether we should stop allowing them altogether,” Zuckerberg said during a speech at Georgetown University on Thursday. “From a business perspective, the controversy is not worth the very small part of the business that they make up.”

But the billionaire executive said he ultimately decided Facebook served as an important outlet for candidates -- and that...

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