Hundreds of Facebook employees signed a letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying they disagree with a company policy that lets politicians lie in advertisements. They said they're worried the policy will help spread misinformation. They wrote: "It doesn't protect voices, but instead allows politicians to weaponize our platform by targeting people who believe that content posted by political figures is trustworthy." Sen. Elizabeth Warren ridiculed the policy by buying a Facebook ad that intentionally falsely claimed Zuckerberg had endorsed President Donald Trump. She called Facebook a "disinformation-for-profit machine."
Class discussion: Should Facebook allow politicians to intentionally lie in advertisements? Should newspapers and television outlets allow politicians lie in ads? Who should decide if a politician is lying in an ad? Would rules against lying in infringe on a politician’s right to free speech? Could a company that lies in an advertisement be charged with fraud? Do businesses like Facebook, newspapers and television that sell advertising have any responsibility to make sure the ads are truthful? How could they determine if advertisers are lying? How likely are companies like Facebook to turn down advertising profits?
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