Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign criticized Facebook Monday for not allowing President Donald Trump’s alleged misinformation about mail-in-voting ahead of the election.
Facebook is allowing Trump to use the platform as a mouthpiece to promote false information about voting as a weapon to suppress the vote, campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon wrote in a letter Monday to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Axios reported. She called on the social media platform to penalize posts from the president that question the reliability of mail-in voting.
“Facebook’s continued promise of future action is serving as nothing more than an excuse for inaction,” campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon wrote in a letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “We will be calling out those failures as they occur over the coming 36 days.”
“Millions of people are voting. Meanwhile, your platform is the nation’s foremost propagator of disinformation about the voting process. This state of affairs cannot be reconciled with a single public statement,” Dillon wrote.
She provided one example of a Sept. 3 Facebook post from Trump’s account in which the president advised his supporters to physically go to a polling place to determine whether or not their mail-in vote was tabulated. If their mail-in vote is not tabulated, then they should demand to vote in person, he suggested.
Facebook applied a statement to Trump’s post, telling users, “Voting by mail has a long history of trustworthiness in the US and the same is predicted this year.”
Biden’s campaign also requested in June while that Zuckerberg focus more attention on misinformation. Biden asked his followers in an open letter to Facebook in June requesting the company “change its policies to crack down on misinformation in ads.”
“Folks, we saw in 2016 what can happen when social media platforms are left unchecked and allow disinformation to run rampant. It puts the very integrity of our elections at risk,” Biden wrote. “We simply cannot let it happen again in 2020.”
Biden and others criticized Facebook after CEO Mark Zuckerberg refused to remove or flag a Trump post in May referencing “looting and shooting” and “THUGS.”
Trump’s post was in reference to protests regarding the death of George Floyd, a black man who died May 25 in police custody. Zuckerberg reportedly defended the decision as an adherence to free speech principles.
“While many Republicans think we should take one course, many Democrats think we should do the exact opposite,” Andy Stone, a Facebook spokesman, told Axios in a statement. “We’ve faced criticism from Republicans for being biased against conservatives and Democrats for not taking more steps to restrict the exact same content.”
Facebook will continue impartially applying rules to protect the integrity of U.S. elections, Stone added.
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