As the 2020 political season is heating up, conservatives have a reason to applaud Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg — the same Mark Zuckerberg who purged his platform of hundreds of conservative accounts over the last year.
Despite receiving enormous pressure from liberal politicians and even network news outlets, Facebook will continue accepting political ads without fact-checking them.
The pressure was increased Wednesday when Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced that his platform would no longer accept political ads.
“We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally,” he said. “We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought.”
Twitter welcomes posts depicting pornography, but political ads are bad. Got it. Facebook, incidentally, bans porn but are the bad guys for accepting political ads.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton congratulated Dorsey for that decision and threw shade on Facebook for not doing the same.
“This is the right thing to do for democracy in America and all over the world. What say you, @Facebook?” she said in one tweet.
“Facebook's decision to allow false information in political advertisements is appalling,” she claimed in another. “Voters are being confronted by millions of pieces of misinformation. A world where up is down and down is up is a world where democracy can't thrive.”
When Zuckerberg appeared at a House Financial Services Committee hearing last month, lawmakers appeared more interested in his decision to allow political ads to run unedited than they were in Libra, his proposed digital currency and the reason for the six-hour hearing.
When Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asked “So you won’t take down lies, or you will take down lies? I think that's a pretty simple yes or no,” Zuckerberg told the New York Democrat that voters should be able to make their own decisions.
Political ads are, for the most part, comprised of both fact and fiction, with a sprinkling of exaggeration and opinion thrown in. “The Green New Deal is good for the country” might be representative.
And of all forms of expression, political speech enjoys special protections under the First Amendment. That principle was reaffirmed in 2010 by the U.S. Supreme Court in its landmark decision in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission.
For that reason Antifa members are allowed to burn American flags, and Colin Kaepernick is free to sit on his haunches during “The Star Spangled Banner” prior to a football game.
Democrats don’t seem to have a problem with those forms of political expression. It’s ads run by conservative political candidates that they want removed.
But social media platforms are ideal for newcomers with limited resources. Young Kim, a conservative Republican running for California’s congressional district 39 is a prime example. She’s trying to wrest control of the district from Democrat Gil Cisneros.
By purchasing Facebook ads she can get her message out to the entire country to solicit donations. She wouldn’t have the resources to do that using traditional media outlets.
The objections to the ads are also rooted in today’s overly-sensitive society. If you say the wrong thing, hold the wrong opinion or wear the wrong apparel — like a MAGA hat — you may be immediately denounced and even physically assaulted
Even former President Barack Obama — hardly my favorite commander in chief — called leftists out for this.
“This idea of purity, and you’re never compromised, and you’re politically woke, and all that stuff — you should get over that quickly,” he said this week at an Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago. “The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws.”
All-in-all, funding may be Democrats’ primary concern. President Donald Trump won the 2016 election on a fraction of the funds Clinton raised. This year the tables are turned and the Trump camp is the big money machine. That has to scare the hell out of Democrats.
As for Zuckerberg, there’s still a year before the election. As a private company, Facebook isn’t bound by the same First Amendment restrictions that limit the government. He can do pretty much whatever he wants.
But as Facebook has evolved through the years to become the public forum that it is today — the largest in the world — it would be far better to do what he has promised: Allow the political ads to run and let the voters decide for themselves.
And while he’s at it he may want to reactivate some of those conservative accounts he banned.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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