Po­lit­i­cal cam­paign ads

The Korea Times - - OPINION -

Face­book is in the midst of its worst scan­dal since Cam­bridge An­a­lyt­ica. CEO Mark Zucker­berg has been ham­mered by pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates, Mem­bers of Congress, fel­low tech moguls and vir­tu­ally ev­ery ma­jor news­pa­per, mag­a­zine and tele­vi­sion net­work. Hun­dreds of Face­book em­ploy­ees have signed a pe­ti­tion call­ing for him to change course.

What did Zucker­berg do to de­serve this avalanche of crit­i­cism? Cave to Chi­nese censorship pres­sure, like some NBA play­ers? Walk away from U.S. de­fense con­tracts for ide­o­log­i­cal rea­sons, like Google did last year?

No, the scan­dal is that Zucker­berg said two weeks ago that Face­book is com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing free ex­pres­sion. Most scan­dalously he said his com­pany, like broad­cast sta­tions, won’t fact-check can­di­date elec­tion ads. In­stead it will al­low dis­puted claims to be de­bated by the pub­lic and press in Amer­ica’s demo­cratic tra­di­tion.

This has many in pol­i­tics and the me­dia up in arms be­cause they think it could re-elect Don­ald Trump in 2020, and they’ve wasted no time sig­nal­ing to Zucker­berg that they’ll blame him if Trump wins. We doubt Zucker­berg fa­vors Trump po­lit­i­cally.

Yet the com­pany is think­ing be­yond the cur­rent fren­zied po­lit­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment. (AP)

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