Senator Elizabeth Warren has Facebook in her crosshairs. Up until last week, we thought it was because she opposes big tech on anti-trust and privacy grounds.
However, Warren just exposed the intention behind her campaign against the largest social media networking site in the world. She fears that because of the platform Donald Trump will win the presidency, again.
@ewarren: Facebook is actively helping Trump spread lies and misinformation. Facebook already helped elect Donald Trump once. They might do it again—and profit off of it.
That’s a pretty serious allegation that appears more grounded in fear of losing a political campaign than a principled position.
Here’s the background on this story…
Senator Warren is no fan of big tech, big pharma, big banks or any big companies. She has called for breaking up big tech many times before and seeks to regulate these companies from top to bottom with policies that are likely to cut the bottom line, upend industries for the worse, hurt workers and consumers, and possibly push capital and wealth to flee the U.S.
Recently, she dared Facebook to stop publishing political ads, especially because of Trump campaign ads.
She made a Facebook ad with what she called a shocking allegation: Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook were supporting President Trump for re-election.
Then she lashed into Facebook’s new policy that permits political leaders to make ads with false claims saying the platform has been turned into “a disinformation-for-profit machine.”
Is this about electoral integrity? Maybe.
However, a different motivation than the spread of what she considers misinformation came to light after Zuckerberg made a passioned speech in defense of free speech –including by President Trump — on the Facebook platform. (I wrote about his speech here.)
Warren took to Twitter to attack Zuckerberg and bully him to take a stronger hand in silencing the president.
Mark Zuckerberg’s speech today shows how little he learned from 2016, and how unprepared Facebook is to handle the 2020 election. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/17/business/zuckerberg-facebook-free-speech.html
Here’s the thing, Mark. Trump isn’t just posting a lie on his own page for his own followers. Facebook is accepting millions of dollars from Trump to run political ads, including ones with misinformation and outright lies. Ads that TV stations won’t even run.
It was in this thread that Warren went off on Facebook claiming it helped elect candidate Trump in 2016 and would do it again in 2020.
Here’s the bottom line…
Social media platforms should not be used as a tool by any person, party or ideological perspective for political ends. If they are meant to be public spaces where freedom of thought and a diversity of viewpoints are shared, then all views should be welcome.
As long as the speech does not advocate for terrorism, violence, and harm to individuals or groups, there is room for minority viewpoints.
Zuckerberg made that point in his speech last week in defense of allowing political leaders like Warren and President Trump to maintain a presence online.
The hypocrisy of the left is that they only welcome viewpoints that they agree with. Conservative, independent, and libertarians often feel like their views are censored or silenced online. This is a serious issue for platforms like Facebook to tackle if they truly want to be a space for the equal exchange of ideas and views.
We are looking to them to take stand for their users and consumers of all political stripes and it begins by shutting down efforts from Warren and others to silence their political opponents for political gain.