- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Several hundred Facebook employees signed a letter sent to CEO Mark Zuckerberg sharing their concerns about the company’s policy allowing political ads to spread misinformation.

In a letter obtained by The New York Times, the employees say they “strongly object” to the social media giant’s choice to not fact check advertisements submitted by elected officials.

“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,” they wrote.

“We strongly object to this policy as it stands,” the employees continued. “It doesn’t protect voices, but instead allows politicians to weaponize our platform by targeting people who believe that content posted by political figures is trustworthy.”

The employees also called on Mr. Zuckerberg to require political advertisements to receive the same “standards that our other ads have to follow” and put restrictions on targeting advertisements and spending caps.

“We want to have this conversation in an open dialog because we want to see actual change,” they wrote. “This is still our company.”

The letter follows a fiery congressional hearing last week where Mr. Zuckerberg defended the policy. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York Democrat, began pressing him on whether she could take out advertisements accusing Republicans of supporting the Green New Deal.

“So you will take down lies, or you won’t take down lies? I think this is a pretty simple yes or no,” she asked, to which Mr. Zuckerberg replied it would depend on the “context.”

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez praised the Facebook employees for their letter, labeling them as “courageous.”

“Courageous workers at Facebook are now standing up to the corporation’s leadership, challenging Zuckerberg’s disturbing policy on allowing paid, targeted disinformation ads in the 2020 election,” she wrote.

In a statement to The Hill, Facebook’s vice president of corporate communications, Bertie Thomson, said: “Facebook’s culture is built on openness so we appreciate our employees voicing their thoughts on this important topic.”

“We remain committed to not censoring political speech, and will continue exploring additional steps we can take to bring increased transparency to political ads,” she said.

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