Mark Hamill has permanently disconnected from Facebook. (AP: Jordan Strauss through Invision)
Star Wars star Mark Hamill has removed his Facebook account, criticizing the decision of its founder Mark Zuckerberg to allow political ads to contain false statements before the 2020 presidential elections in the United States.
- Democrats have criticized Facebook for refusing to verify ads
- Twitter has banned all political publicity, saying it represents a threat to democracy.
- Sacha Baron Cohen has also publicly criticized Facebook for its policy
Taking the Twitter social media platform as a rival, Hamill explained that his decision had come after the company’s announcement that it would continue to allow political campaigns targeting particular demographic groups, and that it would not eliminate false information.
Tweet @HamillHimself So disappointed that #MarkZuckerberg values earnings more than the truthfulness that I decided to delete my @Facebook account.
“I am so disappointed that #MarkZuckerberg values earnings more than the truthfulness that I have decided to delete my @Facebook account,” he wrote.
“I know this is a great ‘Who cares?’ for the world in general, but I will sleep better at night. #PatriotismOverProfits “.
Hamill joins several other famous people who have deleted his Facebook pages, including Jim Carrey, Elon Musk, Will Ferrell and Cher.
Zuckerberg has minimized the role of political advertising to contribute to the company’s profits, rather than framing the issue as one of freedom of expression.
The company announced last week that it would provide users with greater control over the political ads they see, however, it would not verify or eliminate those that lie, despite increasing pressure to curb the spread of fake news on the platform.
In a blog post, Facebook explained that it would not join its great technological rivals to censor the falsehoods, because “people should be able to listen to those who want to lead them, warts and all that.”
Social media platforms are under increasing pressure to eliminate deliberate falsehoods. (AP: Jon Elswick)
“While Twitter has chosen to block political ads and Google has chosen to limit the orientation of political ads, we are choosing to expand transparency and give people more controls when it comes to political ads,” the statement said.
Facebook has argued that the United States should implement an industry-wide regulation that would force social media platforms to curb fake political ads.
“Ultimately, we do not believe that decisions about political announcements should be made by private companies, that is why we are advocating a regulation that applies throughout the industry,” he said.
The new Facebook policy dismissed as ‘window dressing’
The campaign team of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden called the announcement “more window dressing” to justify “his decision to allow the wrong information paid.”
In October, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced that the company would ban all political advertising worldwide.
Dorsey said the online political ads presented “completely new challenges for civic discourse.”
“It’s not about free expression. It’s about paying for scope. And paying to increase the scope of political discourse has significant ramifications that today’s democratic infrastructure may not be prepared to handle.”
Tweet @jack: We have made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter worldwide.
Hamill is not the first celebrity to publicly criticize Facebook for its advertising policy.
British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen recently wrote an opinion piece for the Washington Post in which he dismissed as “absolute nonsense” Zuckerberg’s argument that Facebook is protecting “free expression.”
“Only Facebook already has a third of the world’s population among its users. Social media platforms should not offer fans and pedophiles a free platform to broaden their views and attack victims,” he wrote.
“If a neo-Nazi enters goosebumps in a restaurant and begins to threaten other customers and says he wants to kill Jews, will the restaurant owner be required to serve him an elegant eight-course meal? Of course not.” .
Mark Zuckerberg has defended Facebook’s decision not to verify political ads. (AP: Andrew Harnik, Archive)
Facebook recently said it would eliminate so-called deepfakes and other manipulated videos from its platform in the period before the US presidential election this year.
It occurs after Facebook last year refused to remove a very edited video that tried to make the president of the House of Representatives of the United States, Nancy Pelosi, seem incoherent dragging her speech and making it appear that she stumbled repeatedly with her words.
“We don’t have a policy that stipulates that the information you post on Facebook must be true,” a Facebook spokesman told ABC in May 2019.
“We work hard to find the right balance between promoting free expression and promoting a safe and authentic community.”
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