While exactly how much of an impact it made is in dispute, Facebook played a role in the 2016 election. Lawmakers have recently pressed founder Mark Zuckerberg on how the company would prevent this from happening in 2020.
Facebook has already been accused of allowing misleading information and campaign ads to run on their site without being removed. Over the weekend, Tennessee senator Marsha Blackburn defended the social media company by saying that defending free speech is imperative.
The company has taken heat for ads they allowed the Trump campaign to run against opponent Joe Biden. Zuckerberg defended the decision by saying, “I don’t think people want to live in a world where you can only say things that tech companies decide are 100 percent true. And I think that those tensions are something we have to live with.”
Blackburn’ sentiments largely aligned with those of Zuckerberg. She told Hill.TV, “I’ve had millions of dollars of ads run against me that were factually incorrect. While I disagree with that content and I disagree with their putting that type content up, I also realize that free speech and political speech is an imperative.”
Democratic lawmakers like Elizabeth Warren and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have sharply disagreed with Blackburn. Warren went as a far as posting a false campaign ad to see how the company would react.
The Massachusetts senator wrote, “Facebook already helped elect Donald Trump once. Now, they’re deliberately allowing a candidate to intentionally lie to the American people. It’s time to hold Mark Zuckerberg accountable.”
Elizabeth Warren is now running FB ads with a false statement about Mark Zuckerberg and FB endorsing Trump for president, to draw attention to FB's controversial policy allowing politicians to make false statements in ads. https://t.co/hulwrb3cc3 pic.twitter.com/6zsPwXESKR
— Julia Carrie Wong (@juliacarriew) October 11, 2019