WASHINGTON — According to several press reports, Facebook is considering a ban on all political advertising on its platform in advance of the November general election. The reported action follows a week in which civil-rights groups heavily criticized Facebook for its failure to respond to a growing advertiser boycott organized by the #StopHateForProfit coalition, of which Free Press is a primary member. The social-media giant also came under fire after receiving a failing grade on its civil-rights audit, the final section of which was released on Wednesday.
Free Press Co-CEO Jessica J. González made the following statement:
“On Tuesday, I met with Mark Zuckerberg and was deeply disappointed by his reluctance to crack down on the massive amounts of hate and disinformation on Facebook. The next day, Facebook flunked its own civil-rights audit. And today we see this disappointing and vague suggestion that the company might ban all political ads for some undisclosed period of time leading up to the election.
“This feels like yet another Facebook PR stunt as Zuckerberg once again tries to draw attention away from the company’s many failures to curtail the spread of hate and disinformation. It falls far short of addressing our concerns. If Facebook really wants to stop amplifying hate and disinformation, it should meet the Stop Hate for Profit campaign’s 10 demands and adopt the Change the Terms coalition’s corporate model policies.”