Facebook board member advises Mark Zuckerberg to not fact-check political ads

Facebook board member Peter Thiel has advised the company to keep the policy despite all the criticism.


Facebook has been under fire for not banning political ads for a while now. At a recent hearing in front of Congress, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the company did not want to stifle political speech. While there has been an outrage about Zuckerberg's statement, and the company reportedly started to mull over making changes to its political ad policies as well, a Facebook board member Peter Thiel has advised the company to keep the policy despite all the criticism, as per a report by The Wall Street Journal.

"Many of the decisions we're making at Facebook come with difficult trade-offs and we're approaching them with careful rigor at all levels of the company, from the Board of Directors down. We're fortunate to have a Board with diverse experiences and perspectives so we can ensure debate that reflects a cross section of views," a Facebook spokesperson told CNet.

 Facebook board member advises Mark Zuckerberg to not fact-check political ads

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Facebook's ad library has been a cornerstone of the social media giant's efforts to be more transparent about its role in elections, but researchers say it is poorly maintained and fails to provide useful targeting data — for example, geotargeting information in the UK.

(Also read: Debating political ads on social media is Facebook, twitter's way to derail issue; what's needed is legislation, not bans)

Social media companies have been sharing more information about political advertising after US intelligence agencies found that Russia targeted American voters with social media content, including ads, to try and influence the 2016 election. Russia has denied the allegations.

In October, London-based privacy advocacy group Privacy International issued a report that said Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet's Google still fail to provide adequate transparency for global users on the issue.

Facebook has also come under fire in recent months over its decision not to fact-check political ads. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has defended this stance by arguing Facebook does not want to stifle free speech, but he has also said that the company will look how the policy could be refined.

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