Inside Facebook’s Policy To Run Political Ads Without Fact Checking | NBC News NOW

Channel: NBC News
Published: 12/18/2019 04:33 AM

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A new report from the Wall Street Journal says billionaire and Facebook board member Peter Thiel encouraged Facebook to continue running political ads on the platform without fact-checking them. NBC News’ Jacob Ward breaks down this controversial decision. » Subscribe to NBC News: http://nbcnews...



Transcript
A new report from the wall street journal says billionaire investor and facebook board member peter teal encouraged facebook to continue running political ads on the platform without fact-checking them. It'S a controversial choice. That'S divided silicon valley, jacob boards in san francisco jake. What do we know about? The internal culture and the debates at facebook over these political ads, you ...
know allison. It is a weird time to work at facebook right now, much less to be in charge of facebook right. I mean at this moment when you're trying to figure out how do we be the world's premier, medium of conversation, yeah and yet somehow not be. You know blamed for all of its ills. Imean! That'S really! What'S going on here, what you're, seeing with peter thiel's involvements as the journal is reporting and, and you know, a secret dinner between zuckerberg teal and president trump at the white house, which we were born back in october. All of that you know signals accompany this. I think trying to get out in front of whoever is going to win next time, trying to figure out how to be future-proof ourselves in terms of our treatment of political stuff, and, in this case dealing also with the internal fallout. You know you had 250 employees of facebook writing a letter saying that free speech and paid speech are not the same thing, so you havetremendous division within this incredibly important cup fails. Jake.

One thing facebook is saying is that it's made a quote initial commitment of a hundred and thirty million dollars to an independent oversight, trust board. What does that mean? What will that board do? Where will that money go? You know this is this funny world that facebook occupies, where it sort of goes in between the worlds of academia. You know public policy, you know these sort of big global, think tanks, and then you know it's business, making money as an advertiser and trying to figure out. How do we do these? These, you know. Do these two things at the same time, so people i've spoken, towho are close to the development of this board said it's a hundred and thirty million dollars to create a six-year sort of independent board. I mean literally, this thing is gon na be like its own office, its own staff, its own rent, all of that stuff, and it's gon na act as a sort of supreme court for incoming weirdo questions about you know, content that might violate someone's humans rights or Might you know instigate violence against something? You know something where, in the same way, that the supreme court tries to pick cases that it thinks are specifically important right or a token of something important to something like the united states, this supreme court for facebook isgoing to do the same kind of thing. Of course, it's a little bit different than our supreme court that we think of because it doesn't have ultimate say it doesn't get to change, facebook's, business or its policy. It does have some sort of binding power in theory and that it will force to facebook to actually come to some sort of public conclusion about x y z, piece of content, but it's not as if this is some outside board. That'S gon na you know come in and say: okay from now on we're no longer running political ads. It'S gon na say this particular post, for this particular reason should be changed or taken down or kept up. Whateverits decision will be all right. So, given all the scrutiny facebook's faced over ads and political influence in the platform, do you expect them to make more changes? In 2020, i mean, i just don't see how they they won't be able to.

You know they won't have to make some kind of change here right already, you've seen its rivals right, google has limited the micro targeting you're allowed to do on its platform when it comes to political ads. Twitter is said: we're not doing political ads whatsoever and your facebook is the one sort of saying we're not gon na make big changes. You know we're gon na allow politicians to lie in their ads, but you knowwe're seeing all kinds of studies starting to come out. We just saw study come out last week that was fascinating. That basically showed that on facebook, if you are a campaign, a political campaign trying to reach people outside of their political bubble, it's almost impossible and extremely expensive to do it on facebook. So the algorithm itself is in fact steering political ads directly to the people that it's gon na hit hardest and not allowing someone from a different political persuasion to see something they wouldn't otherwise agree with. You know so right there. You just see that the the mechanism that facebook is in terms of how it gets political speech across is you know it's it'sreally having a huge influence on things and then, once you get into the world of you, know, russians paying for ads only have form and All the internal that said, i just don't see how they won't have to make some sort of change between now and 2020. But of course, that is what the wall street journal is reporting here about. Peter thiel raised that he is pushing along with many other people, especially people on the conservative side of things. Saying please don't change the the system. I think because it worked so well for donald trump last time.

I think they expect that it'll do the same form. This time, so they don't want them tochange, that's the real question here is: will they bow to that pressure on us? You mentioned google i'd like to ask you chinn, on a different topic related to google. The country's been facing a lot of criticism for the way. It'S treated employees, the former security engineers saying she was fired for trying to talk to co-workers about the rights to organize what happened here exactly or what do we know? You have really interesting, katherine spears now becomes the fifth person fired. You remember the the thanksgiving for move mired. They say for actions related to sort of labor organizing, but google says you know on the basis of having basically violated security protocols in this casekatherine spears is basically saying that her job, which was to write browser notifications, the things that pop up in browsers, especially in This case for internal communications within google, she put up a notification. That basically said here are your rights. You have rights as a worker at google, whenever people visited certain sites around union rules or union-busting and she was fired. You know we don't have coming from from google as to as to the ostensible reason. I expect it will be something along the lines of what they said about the thanksgiving for, but katherine spears is basically saying i was. I was supposed to write notifications for employees. In this case, i wrote one thatgoogle had to put up by virtue of its agreement with the national labor relations board, and so she is now filing an unfair labor practices complaint joining these other four who are also filing.

In this case. She says that she was interrogated very harshly and repeatedly was pressured by the company to incriminate other people that that may have been organizing around labor. I mean this. Is it's a mess house and there's another case in which a worker you know in the company doing something around labor got treated in a very old-school way by this very new-school company? It is an interesting time in silicon valley to say the least and weird be a lot ofstuff going on. Thank you so much thanks. You hey nbc news viewers, thanks for checking out our youtube channel subscribe by clicking on that button down here and click on any of the videos over here to watch. The latest interviews show highlights, and digital exclusives thanks for watching.


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