International lawmakers urge social media companies to suspend political ads

Lawmakers are coming together to show their disgust over political advertisements being displayed on social media, and they say it’s time to put a stop to it until proper regulation is underway. But, can Social Media outlets truly be forced to suspend these ads? Is it a violation of the Politician’s Constitutional rights?
The outcry over political advertisements being banned is being heard loud and clear across the world after The International Committee on Disinformation and Fake News was made on November 7th, 2019 in Dublin, Ireland
The outcry over political advertisements being banned is being heard loud and clear across the world after The International Committee on Disinformation and Fake News was made on November 7th, 2019 in Dublin, Ireland. Photo: Vince on Flickr

Misleading Social Agenda

This new information comes on the heel of scrutiny over Facebook allowing targeted ads per each political affiliation. On November 7th, the International Committee on Disinformation and Fake News met in Dublin, Ireland and called for all social media outlets to ban political advertisements.

Fake news is spreading like wildfire on Social Media as it always does around the time of the world’s major elections. There are many individuals who are utterly sick of it and want change. The last thing any of these social networks – such as Facebook – want, are lawsuits for defamation, and possibly, more importantly, a people swayed based on pure lies. To combat such toxicity, there has been a new committee formed. This committee aims to target these individuals and take them down. It’s known, as we see above, as the International Committee on Disinformation and Fake News.

Who is this Committee?

The International Committee on Disinformation and Fake News was formed in 2018 after a pretty large investigation in the UK by UK parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, which called for the suspension and discontinuation of political ads worldwide after information was exposed which proved politicians are misleading people with false information and fake news.

Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook
Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook. Photo: hellcrisis_619 via Flickr

Facebook is Playing Nice to all Sides

Facebook has been in the news a time or two over the past couple of years for everything from personal data mining, buying Instagram, and more. This time, it’s because Facebook Co-Founder Mark Zuckerburg is going toe to toe with lawmakers, stating, “

In a statement made during a speech by Nick Clegg, VP of Global Affairs and Communications for Facebook, he states the following:

“It’s not new that politicians say nasty things about each other – that wasn’t invented by Facebook. What is new is that now they can reach people with far greater speed and at a far greater scale. That’s why we draw the line at any speech which can lead to real-world violence and harm.

I know some people will say we should go further. That we are wrong to allow politicians to use our platform to say nasty things or make false claims. But imagine the reverse.”

Facebook seems to be taking proactive measures to stay out of the way and allow politicians to do their own thing unless they choose to violate the rules set forth regarding political advertisements. In a nutshell, this basically means paid ads must follow community guidelines, and anything posted that incites any sort of violence is strictly prohibited.

The Committee met in the heart of Dublin to discuss the potential Political Advertisement ban called for on November 7, 2019
The Committee met in the heart of Dublin to discuss the potential Political Advertisement ban called for on November 7, 2019

Right or Wrong Is in the Eye of the Beholder

I can’t imagine it’s easy to moderate all of the political junk that’s flying through the internets at this point in time, but what I do know is that no matter what any social network does, policing adverts or not, the lies are going to fly.  It’s pretty much the name of the game. I for one cannot wait until the elections are over with and we can all resume life as normal.

Will Social Media eventually bow down and stop all political advertisements altogether? It’s difficult to say. I suppose we will just have to sit back and watch and see what happens.

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