Much has been made about the fact that Facebook refuses to fact-check any of the political ads they run on their platform. Their excuse is that they do not want to interfere with the political process. The social media giant has been hammered about this by politicians and regular people as well. One of the reasons this has become such a big issue is that President Donald Trump has already run a few ads which have claims that have been proven to be false. Facebook said that the only political ads they will not run are those which encourage violence.
Some of the other tech companies in Silicon Valley think that the approach that Facebook is taking towards political ads is a huge mistake. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey recently said that Twitter will not run any more political ads. Snapchat also chimed into the conversation when they released a statement saying that all ads on their platform have been fact-checked. They have a group of people who are tasked solely with making sure all of the ads that run on the Snapchat platform are completely factual. Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel believes that it is the responsibility of tech companies that run political ads to act as a watchdog. He said that he will never allow his company to knowingly participate in disinformation.
It will be very interesting to see what side of the fence many tech companies fall on as far as political ads are concerned. There will be a larger demand for political ads in the coming months. This is because there is a big presidential election coming one year from now. It seems unlikely that other tech companies will adopt the no fact-checking policy that is being used by Facebook. It has been a public relations nightmare for the company. No other company would want to go through that.
Snapchat is being praised for the way they are making sure that politicians are only allowed to make factual claims on the ads they run on the platform. Evan Spiegel hopes that many of the other companies that run political ads will follow in their footsteps. Only time will tell if that is the case. Spiegel believes that the 2020 presidential is the most important one in recent memory. Therefore, it is crucial that candidates are held to a very high standard. That means not making false claims in ads.