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October 9, 2019 10:00 am

Why Facebook cant stop politicians from lying

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

If you see an ad on Facebook, should the contents of that ad be true? Historically, the answer has been yes. The company’s posted advertising guidelines prohibit “misinformation,” defined here as “ads that include claims debunked by third-party fact checkers or, in certain circumstances, claims debunked by organizations with particular expertise.”

As of this week, though, that policy comes with an asterisk. As Judd Legum reported this week in his newsletter, Popular Information, Facebook is now exempting political figures from this policy. If a political candidate or party wants to run a Facebook ad announcing that their rival is a lizard person, they now have an open lane to do so.

Legum has already found several examples of the Trump...

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