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Is it time to ban political advertising on Facebook?

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Karin Pettersson argues that ‘free speech’ is not a license for politicians relying on the rage to lie, and for such lies to be amplified by ‘social media’. reports citing SocialEurope that Last week, Facebook gave the go-ahead to Donald Trump to base his whole re-election campaign on massive, micro-targeted, straight-out lies.

Here’s the problem with that. Serious politicians can argue about policies to combat inequality and the climate crises all they want. But if liars are allowed to steal elections in democratic countries, why does all that even matter?

The background is that the US president, under mounting pressure from the impeachment inquiry in Congress, needed to change the conversation. Trump’s campaign, therefore, published on Facebook an advertisement, claiming that his political opponent Joe Biden had used the threat of withholding $1 billion to Ukraine to quash an investigation of a company of which his son is a board member.

Since the last US election, when Russia used Facebook to try to influence the outcome, the platform has spent a lot of money on trying to restore public confidence, through collaboration with fact-checking organizations. But it’s hard to see the point of any of that when those standards do not apply to the central players.

2019.10.15 / 18:53
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