Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg has said he does not think it is right for a company to censor politicians or the news in a democracy.
He was giving a speech in Washington DC following weeks of criticism over the firm’s decision not to ban political adverts that contain falsehoods.
He added he had considered barring all political ads on his platforms.
But he said he believed the move would favour incumbent politicians and whoever the media chose to cover.
Permitting falsehood in political advertising would work if we had a model democracy, but we don’t. Not only are candidates dishonest, but voters aren’t educated, and the media isn’t objective. And now, hyperlinks turn lies into donations and donations into louder lies. The checks don’t balance. What we face is a self-reinforcing disinformation dystopia.
That’s why if Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube don’t want to be the arbiters of truth in campaign ads, they should stop selling them. If they can’t be distributed safely, they shouldn’t be distributed at all.