Your rulers are rogues And cronies of thieves, Every one avid for presents And greedy for gifts; They do not judge the case of the orphan, And the widow’s cause never reaches them.” (Isaiah 1:23)
In a plea to leverage social media censorship, Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate for the upcoming presidential election, accused President Trump of paying “to confuse voters.” Facebook rejected the Democratic attempt at suppressing free speech but the irony is that last week, Biden spent a shocking $4.9 million on Facebook ads.
In an open letter on his site, Biden wrote:
“After foreign operatives and rightwing trolls used Facebook to hack the 2016 election, Facebook vowed “never again” and promised to take action. But with fewer than 5 months until the 2020 election, Facebook seems to be on a crash course to let the same mistakes happen again. Tens of millions of Americans rely on Facebook as a news source. But the company continues to amplify misinformation and lets candidates pay to target and confuse voters with lies.
“We have asked Facebook to take action–responsible action, action that is critical to the health of our democracy. And we will continue to do so. We will not stop.”
Ironically, one of the steps Biden called for was “to prevent political candidates and PACs from using paid advertising to spread lies and misinformation.”
It was reported that in the week of May 29-June 6, Biden spent more than $4.9 million on Facebook ads as compared to the Trump campaign which spent $1.2 million.
Biden’s blatant hypocrisy was taken up as a battle-cry by House Democrats who wrote a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg last week calling for the social media company to revise its policies.
“We are of the belief that Facebook’s failure to limit political micro-targeting already works to the favor of those who pay your company to run hyper-partisan and divisive advertisements regardless of their factual accuracy,” Cleaver and the Democrats wrote.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has faced pressure recently calling for him to censor the President which would directly violate the First Amendment and interfere with free elections. Earlier this month, Zuckerberg was widely criticized for allowing the president’s threat to respond to violent riots and looting by sending in troops.
While disagreeing with the president, the Facebook CEO explained that his decision was based on the principle of free speech.
“But I’m responsible for reacting not just in my personal capacity but as the leader of an institution committed to free expression. I know many people are upset that we’ve left the President’s posts up, but our position is that we should enable as much expression as possible unless it will cause imminent risk of specific harms or dangers spelled out in clear policies.”
“I disagree strongly with how the President spoke about this, but I believe people should be able to see this for themselves, because ultimately accountability for those in positions of power can only happen when their speech is scrutinized out in the open.”
The company issued a report June 5 about its attempts to combat misinformation.
On Thursday, Facebook said: “There is an election coming in November and we will protect political speech, even when we strongly disagree with it.”
A Real Clear Politics polling average shows Biden ahead of Trump by more than 7 points nationally