Democrats ramp up calls for Facebook to 'police' political ads: What's really behind this?

The social media giant Facebook is facing new calls, in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, to do more to monitor and regulate the content of political ads placed on its platform.

Recently, Facebook said that it will not fact-check the accuracy of political campaign advertisements and founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg was grilled on the topic by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez D-N.Y., during congressional testimony.

On Monday, hundreds of Facebook employees sent Zuckerberg a letter saying they were "worried" Facebook would "undo great strides" that have been made in the past two years as the company has been under intense scrutiny following the 2016 election and Russia's efforts to spread misinformation.


On Fox Nation's "Deep Dive," Wall Street Journal Assistant Editorial Page Editor James Freeman and a panel of experts debated the pros and cons of putting a private social media company in charge of refereeing political speech.

"When you put a post up -- a lie -- on Facebook, it can be used to suppress your opponent's vote. It can be used to inflame tensions and those things -- those lies -- at the end of the day, affect the ballot box," said Laura Fink, founder and CEO of Rebelle Communications.

"Allowing that for financial reasons, for engagement reasons, because you want to see more clicks -- that may help Mark Zuckerberg's bottom line but it doesn't help America's," she argued.

The Daily Caller's Stephanie Hamill disagreed, saying that the American voter should be the ultimate judge of the truthfulness of political messages, not private companies.

"Look at all of the campaign ads over decades... a lot of people will mislead, they'll lie, they'll exaggerate the truth. So who is going to decide what's a lie, and what's not a lie?" said Hamill. "I know that Mark Zuckerberg said he's all about free speech and he wants people to consume the information and then decide for themselves, which I think is a good tactic."

David Limbaugh, a lawyer and conservative political commentator stressed that a select group of people in Silicon Valley cannot be trusted to decide what Americans can and cannot see during a political campaign.

"We cannot have the Facebook moguls and their employees, who -- by the way --  are decidedly liberal and left-wing, deciding what is and isn't worthy of public airing," he said.

"If you have someone suppressing speech or limiting speech on a platform under the guise of factual inaccuracy and it's really opinion, then you are thwarting the purpose of the First Amendment, which is all about opening up political speech, which is what we're really talking about," Limbaugh argued.

In early October, Sen. Elizabeth Warren's, D-Mass., campaign intentionally submitted a political ad with false content to Facebook.  Facebook quickly approved the ad, showing, according to Warren, that the platform had turned into a "disinformation-for-profit machine."

Hamill pushed back on that allegation and suggested another motive for Warren's targeting of Facebook.

"Elizabeth Warren and the Democrats are being very hard on Zuckerberg because they want conservatives to be censored even more than they are already being censored. They're upset because President Trump can't get his message out through the networks... his only way to reach out to voters is social media. And so that's why I think Democrats are concerned," she said.

To watch all of "Deep Dive" go to Fox Nation and sign up today.


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Fox News' Joseph Wulfsohn and Sam Dorman contributed to this report.