According to Andrew Bosworth –the head of Facebook’s virtual and augmented reality division and who was in charge of Facebook’s advertising efforts during the 2016 election– letting advertisers lie to customers on Facebook is super-cool, you know, as long as the check clears:
On Dec. 30, Andrew Bosworth, the head of Facebook’s virtual and augmented reality division, wrote on his internal Facebook page that, as a liberal, he found himself wanting to use the social network’s powerful platform against Mr. Trump. But citing the Lord of the Rings franchise and the philosopher John Rawls, Mr. Bosworth said that doing so would eventually backfire…. Mr. Bosworth said that even though keeping the current policies in place “very well may lead to” Mr. Trump’s reelection, it was the right decision.
The post by Mr. Bosworth, a former head of Facebook’s advertising team, provides an unusually candid glimpse of the debates raging within Facebook about the platform’s responsibilities as it heads into the 2020 election. The biggest of those debates is whether Facebook should change its rules governing political speech. Posts by politicians are exempt from many of Facebook’s current rules, and their ads are not submitted for fact-checking, giving them license to mislead voters with partisan misinformation.
Even Twitter, sewer firehose that it is, says that political ads designed to mislead have no place on their platform, and because Twitter claims that they do not have the resources to fact check everything, instead they are banning all political ads. Google has announced something similar; even Pinterest has a technical solution to make mis/disinformation impossible to find on their platform if it ever makes it on: they add it to their key words list to block and to make it unsearchable. D’uh!
“Suckers,” Faceberg didn’t say.
Back to Bosworth:
“So was Facebook responsible for Donald Trump getting elected? I think the answer is yes, but not for the reasons anyone thinks. He didn’t get elected because of Russia or misinformation or Cambridge Analytica. He got elected because he ran the single best digital ad campaign I’ve ever seen from any advertiser. Period.”
In a statement to the Times, Bosworth said his post “wasn’t written for public consumption,” but that he “hoped this post would encourage my co-workers to continue to accept criticism with grace as we accept the responsibility we have overseeing our platform.”
I hope that everyone listens to Bosworth and realizes that the single best thing you can do is to delete your Facebook account.