Facebook’s advertising policy which allows politicians to spread misinformation or outright lies is not sitting well with Facebook employees.
This is according to a letter obtained by The New York Times in which Facebook employees call on Facebook’s leaders to cull the special permission the social network grants politicians.
“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 reads.
This letter has been accessible on Facebook’s private Workplace space and as many as 250 employees signed their support of the contents.
The crux of the matter is that employees don’t want politicians to be given free reign of the platform. On the contrary, they want greater controls over what politicians post.
This includes highlighting political posts as political, holding political adverts to the same standards as other adverts and even observing election silence “to act in good faith and as good citizens”.
One big concern not just for Facebook employees but for everybody that uses the platform is how politicians can target voters. With access to voter registration rolls and Facebook’s targeting tools, politicians can silo conversations with greater effect than ever before.
The danger with this is that misinformation can slip through the cracks, especially if it’s aimed at a smaller audience. From there it can blossom and before you know it, the truth is a distant memory.
Whether this letter will have any effect on Facebook’s policy remains to be seen but we’re inclined to think that politicians will still be given special treatment when it comes to advertising or posting questionable information on Facebook.