DNC accuses Facebook of allowing Trump ‘to mislead the American people’

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is accusing Facebook of allowing President Trump to “mislead the American people” without facing any consequences. 

DNC CEO Seema Nanda made the allegations in a Tuesday interview with CNN just a week after the tech giant announced that it would not remove posts or advertisements from politicians if they happen to violate the company’s community rules.

{mosads}Nanda told CNN Facebook’s move will allow Trump to “mislead the American people on their platform unimpeded.”

“We know that Trump has an utter disregard for the truth,” she said.

“Social media platforms have a responsibility to protect our democracy and counter disinformation online. This is a serious missed opportunity by Facebook,” Nanda added. 

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill on Nanda’s remarks. 

Trump has frequently used platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to lash out at political opponents and promote his administration’s talking points. The Trump campaign has also spent almost $20 million on Facebook ads since May 2018.

Many of the advertisements surfaced on the platform have inaccurately accused Democrats of trying to repeal the Second Amendment or warned of an “invasion” at the southern border. More than 2,000 ads warning of an invasion were posted between January and May, according to a review of Facebook’s ad archives by The Hill

Trump and his campaign’s strong presence on the platform has led to debates about the authority Facebook may have to police possible misinformation from lawmakers.

Last week, Facebook’s vice president of global affairs and communications, Nick Clegg, announced that it would roll out a policy treating “speech from politicians as newsworthy content that should, as a general rule, be seen and heard.”

He said during a speech in Washington, D.C., that Facebook does not submit posts from politicians to its third-party fact-checking program, which lets outside organizations flag content as misleading or false. 

“We don’t believe that it’s an appropriate role for us to referee political debates and prevent a politician’s speech from reaching its audience and being subject to public debate and scrutiny,” Clegg added in a blog post.

Facebook will still require advertisers, including political campaigns, to adhere to its community guidelines, which include prohibitions on hate speech and extremism.

While some critics have urged the platform to do more, Facebook has largely pushed back against the idea that the company should hold authority over what speech is acceptable. 

“Would it be acceptable to society at large to have a private company in effect become a self-appointed referee for everything that politicians say?” Clegg asked last week while announcing the new policy. “I don’t believe it would be. In open democracies, voters rightly believe that, as a general rule, they should be able to judge what politicians say themselves.”

Tags CNN Democratic National Committee DNC Donald Trump Facebook misinformation Nick Clegg online misinformation Seema Nanda Social media
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