Facebook has refused to take down a Donald Trump ad which accuses Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden of promising Ukraine money for firing a prosecutor investigating a firm with ties to Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.
According to a report in Vox on Wednesday, President Trump’s reelection campaign is running a false ad about former Vice President on social media platforms.
The New York Times has obtained a letter from Facebook to Biden, explaining that despite its false claims, the 30-second “ad doesn’t actually violate any of Facebook’s policies”.
“Our approach is grounded in Facebook’s fundamental belief in free expression, respect for the democratic process, and the belief that, in mature democracies with a free press, political speech is already arguably the most scrutinized speech there is,” wrote Katie Harbath, Facebook’s Head of Global Elections Policy.
Biden’s camp slammed the Facebook letter, calling it “unacceptable”.
The Biden team said the claim in the ad “has been demonstrated to be completely false”.
Even third-party fact checkers working with Facebook have debunked the 30-second ad.
Other than Facebook, other platforms like YouTube, Twitter, MSNBC and Fox are also running the false ad.
Senator Elizabeth Warren last week slammed Facebook over its policies related to the veracity of claims made in political ads.
Last month, Facebook announced to exempt politicians from its third-party fact-checking programme.
However, when a politician shares previously debunked content including links, videos and photos, Facebook said it plans to demote that content, display related information from fact-checkers, and reject its inclusion in advertisements.
“From now on, we will treat speech from politicians as newsworthy content that should, as a general rule, be seen and heard.”
“However, in keeping with the principle that we apply different standards to content for which we receive payment, this will not apply to ads — if someone chooses to post an ad on Facebook, they must still fall within our Community Standards and our advertising policies,” Nick Clegg who is vice president of Global Affairs and Communications at Facebook had elaborated.