Last week, Facebook mastermind Mark Zuckerberg answered questions on Capitol Hill about Project Libra, which is apparently his social media kingdom’s new, not-at-all bad idea foray into cryptocurrency. Things quickly took a turn, however, when a number of representatives took the opportunity to grill Zuck over Facebook’s policies regarding free speech and political ads, namely the fact that Facebook doesn’t seem to care if they’re riddled with lies. In short, ruled.
Now it seems that “politicians on both sides of the aisle” and “most Americans paying attention” aren’t the only people who think Facebook is an active threat to our democracy. Turns out that Facebook is also loathed by, well, Facebook itself. Yesterday, the New York Times reported that over 250 employees signed an open letter that was then posted on an internal company forum urging Facebook brass to do something—like, literally anything—to address the issues at hand.
“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. We strongly object to this policy as it stands. 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,” reads a portion of the letter.
The statement goes on to suggest a number of potential changes Facebook could (read: should) implement to curtail bad faith misuse of the social media platform, including banning political ads featuring misinformation, more obvious labelling of political materials, and limits on how much any single politician could spend on advertising.
While AOC voiced her support for the workers’ transparency, Facebook higher-ups still appear to be, well, kinda a bunch of asshats. “Facebook’s culture is built on openness so we appreciate our employees voicing their thoughts on this important topic,” responded Facebook spokesperson Bertie Thomson. “We remain committed to not censoring political speech, and will continue exploring additional steps we can take to bring increased transparency to political ads.”
Cool. Great. That should fix things over there.