Warren – the U.S. presidential candidate – attacks Facebook’s political ad policies

(Reuters) – Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Democratic presidential candidate, on Monday, took aim at Facebook’s political ad policies, indicating without evidence that a change in Facebook’s ad policy may have got something to do with a recent meeting between President Donald Trump and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

The social media giant has recently been under scrutiny from regulators after American intelligence agencies found that Russia used social media platforms to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Thus, it recently changed the wording of its rules on political ads, which used to ban “deceptive, false or misleading content.”

Its new online policy bans “ads that include claims debunked by third-party fact-checkers or, in certain circumstances, claims debunked by organizations with particular expertise,” but this has led some people to point out that politicians’ ads and posts are exempt from this fact-checking program.

Warren, a Democratic frontrunner who called for breaking up Amazon.com Inc, Alphabet Inc and Facebook Inc, in March, argued in her tweets that the public needs to know how Facebook intends to use its influence in the November 2020 presidential election.

“For instance, Trump and Zuckerberg met at the White House two weeks ago. What did they talk about?” she tweeted, referring to a Sept. 19 meeting.

“After that meeting, Facebook quietly changed its policies on ‘misinformation’ in ads,” she asked. “Put another way, Facebook is now okay with running political ads with known lies,” she added.

According to a Facebook spokeswoman, the update to its external ad policy page had not changed its policy or enforcement.

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