Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook chief executive, has been criticized by lawmakers in the United States over the company’s policy of not fact-checking political ads towards the 2020 US elections.
The social network boss appeared before the house financial services committee to defend plans for Libra, his embattled digital currency.
During the hearing, Zuckerberg was accused of letting political disinformation spread ahead of the presidential election after he was unable to confirm if hate speech from candidates running an office would be taken off the platform.
Although he had responded claiming that it was not his job to police what politicians said, the billionaire CEO was faced with more questions on the company’s motive with regard to failing to stop child exploitation on the social network and the Cambridge Analytic data scandal.
“You announced that the official policy of Facebook now allows politicians to spread disinformation in 2020 elections and in the future. I just want to know how far we can push this,” said Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a democrat who questioned him.
“Would I be able to run advertisements on Facebook targeting the republicans in primaries and saying they voted for the Green New Deal? If you’re not fact-checking political advertisements, I’m just trying to understand the boundaries here.”
Responding to the question, Zuckerberg said he wouldn’t be able to provide an answer while hinting that the fact that a certain false political statement wasn’t taken down doesn’t detract from the target population being able to see that such was a lie.
According to him, contents would, however, be taken down in specific cases if they pose an imminent risk of harm, call for violence, or is tantamount to census suppression when Facebook’s census suppression policy is rolled out.
“Congresswoman, I don’t know the answers to that off the top of my head. But I think lieing is bad. And if you were to run an ad that had a lie, that would be bad. But I think that’s different from it being, in our position, the right thing to do to prevent your people your constituency people in an election from seeing that you had lied,” he said.
.@AOC, the youngest and most social-savvy member of Congress, just made Mark Zuckerberg look like a deer in headlights.
Watch her full series of questions below. pic.twitter.com/6qb105vUzpAdvertisement
— Millennial Politics (@MillenPolitics) October 23, 2019
As of the time this report was filed, the keyword ‘Mark Zuckerberg’ had topped the Twitter trends as both stakeholders and users of the platform have taken to the microblogging platform to air their opinions about the session.
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