In what comes as no surprise, Facebook has said it will allow UK political candidates to run fake ads on the platform. Facebook says it will not run advertisements from British political parties through its fact-checking program.
Initially, Facebook has been vocal on its stand on political ads in the upcoming US election. Reports now suggest that Facebook’s policies on political ads will apply to other countries as well.
There has been a turmoil from US Democratic presidential candidates, Congress, and even some Facebook employees, as a result.
In the UK, the company said it would only subject ads from other political groups, like the pro-Brexit group ‘Leave.EU’ to its fact-checking program.
Any other candidate running for election to the House of Commons will be free to say whatever they want to, as long as Facebook is making money.
A Conservative member of Parliament in the UK has argued that the company shouldn’t harbour false political ads just because it is being paid for them.
“People shouldn’t be able to spread disinformation during election campaigns just because they are paying Facebook to do so,” Damian Collins stated.
Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has previously defended the company’s decision to allow political ads as a way to conserve “free speech.” And for the sake of democracy, people should be able to judge whether one is lying or not, Mark Zuckerberg stated in an interview.
"So, you won't take down lies or you will take down lies? I think that's just a pretty simple yes or no."
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 23, 2019
In contrast, Twitter said it would ban all political ads on the platform from November 22nd.