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Facebook CEO reacts to Twitter’s proposed ban on political advertising

Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.
Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.

* says political Ads decision is not all about money

Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has reacted to the announcement last night by Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, that his company would be banning all political advertisements on its platform starting from November 22.

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Jack had, in a series of tweets, announced plans “to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally.”

But Zuckerberg while defending Facebook’s decision to allow political ads said: “Some people accuse us of allowing speech because they think all we care about is making money, and that’s wrong.”

While announcing Facebook’s third-quarter earnings on Wednesday,  Zuckerberg added: “I can assure you that from a business perspective, the controversy this creates far outweighs the very small percentage of our business that these political ads make up.”

Facebook’s approach came under intense scrutiny this month after the company said it would allow Trump’s re-election campaign to run an ad with false claims about former Vice President Joe Biden and his son. The ads policy was a major point of discussion at a congressional hearing last week where Zuckerberg testified, CNBC reports.

On the call, Zuckerberg said the company estimates ads from politicians will be less than 0.5% of its revenue next year.

“To put this in perspective, the FTC fine that these same critics said wouldn’t be enough to change our incentives was more than 10x bigger than this,” he said.

Zuckerberg also argued that Google, YouTube, some cable networks and national broadcasters run “these same ads.”

“I think there are good reasons for this. I don’t think it’s right for private companies to censor politicians and the news,” he further added.

Meanwhile, Twitter CEO had already anticipated and poked fun at this argument, tweeting, “For instance, it’s not credible for us to say: ‘We’re working hard to stop people from gaming our systems to spread misleading info, but if someone pays us to target and force people to see their political ad…well…they can say whatever they want!’”

 

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