Facebook employees voice dissension over company’s political ad policies

Less than two weeks after Mark Zuckerberg reiterated he was against fact-checking political ads on Facebook that may contain false information, a small, but potentially vocal group of company employees has come out in dissent against Facebook’s political ad policy.

More than 250 Facebook workers have signed an open letter to Zuckerberg calling upon Facebook executives to reconsider the company’s stance on ads places by politicians that could even include false claims against political rivals. The New York Times said it had seen a copy of the letter that was first placed on an internal computer program that Facebook uses to communicate with employees two weeks ago.

In the letter, the Facebook employees begin by saying they are “proud” to work for the company, but go on to express concerns that Facebook is adding to the political discourse that is already coloring the 2020 U.S. presidential election cycle.

“Free speech and paid speech are not the same thing,” said the letter, which the Times posted a copy of online. “Misinformation affects us all. Our current policies on fact checking people in political office, or those running for office, are a threat to what FB stands for.”

The letter came in the wake of a speech that Zuckerberg gave at Georgetown University on Oct. 17 in which he said about political ads, “if content is newsworthy, we won’t take it down if it would otherwise conflict with our standards.”

Facebook employees went on to outline six suggestions for the company to implement regarding all ad-related content, including holding political ads to the same standards as all other ads, stronger visual designs to highlight political ads and ad-spending caps for politicians regardless of their political affiliation.

The letter is a rare display of dissension by Facebook staff against the standards set by the company that employees 35,000 people. However, the employees who signed the letter didn’t say if workers would go so far as to organize a walkout to protest the ad policy.

One of the most-notable recent employee protests against a Silicon Valley company’s behavior came in November 2018, when thousands of Google employees temporarily walked off the job to protest how the company handled a s****l harassment incident involving Android creator Andy Rubin. Google gave Rubin a walkway package worth $90 million when he left the company amid allegations of s****l harassment.

Facebook didn’t immediately return a request for comment on the matter.

Source: Mercury news
Facebook employees voice dissension over company’s political ad policies