In an open letter to Facebook on his website, Joe Biden has called for the company to “promote real news, not fake news”. Biden has set out a set of recommendations believes should be implemented on Facebook in the run-up to the election.
Facebook has provided a response to the letter which Engadget has reported on. The social media company has said, “we will protect political speech, even when we strongly disagree with it.” This has all come in the midst of a war between President Trump and social media organisations such as Twitter and Snapchat.
Biden recommends fact-checking on Facebook
Biden’s recommendations for Facebook echo moves that many other Democrat politicians have called for. Biden argued that Facebook has taken “has taken no meaningful action” despite the dissemination of false advertising and misinformation.
He has called for Facebook to “proactively stem the tide of false information”. This would take the form of fact-checking and no long promoting untrustworthy content.
Secondly, Biden recommended that Facebook should prevent politicians from hiding behind paid misinformation. This would mean in the two-weeks running up to the election all election-related posts would be fact-checked.
Finally, Biden called for clear rules to be set out that apply to everyone. He insinuates here that because Trump is able to pay the is immune to the same rules as everyone else.
Biden then went onto call Facebook “a tool for misinformation” if it does not make changes. He implored the company to do the “right thing.”
Facebook respond to Joe Biden letter
Facebook responded with a statement to Biden’s letter. It pointed out two weeks ago the President an executive order preventing social media sites from engaging in fact-checking.
This led the statement to go onto say “the people’s elected representatives should set the rules, and we will follow them.”
Finally summing up with “we will protect political speech, even when we strongly disagree with it.” This looks as if Facebook is going to aim to stay out of the way of Trump in the election. However, in doing so he could be enraging democrat supporters.
Biden has a history of clashing with Facebook and he is not willing to step away now. In January Biden said Facebook spreads “falsehoods they know to be false” as reported by Engadget.
Social media will clearly play a huge part in the upcoming election campaigns. With Twitter and Snapchat both beginning to take action against Trump, it appears the Facebook is declining to follow suit.