We are proud to work here.
Facebook stands for people who make their voices heard. Creating a place where we can discuss, share different opinions and express our opinions is what makes our app and technologies meaningful for people around the world.
We are proud to work for a place that makes that expression possible, and we believe that it is necessary to evolve as societies change. As Chris Cox said, "We know that the effects of social media are not neutral and their history is not yet written."
This is our company.
We contact you, the leaders of this company, because we are afraid that we are on the right track to undo the great progress that our product teams have made over the past two years. We work here because we care, because we know that even our smallest choices influence communities on an amazing scale. We want to express our concerns before it's too late.
Free speech and paid speech are not the same.
Wrong information affects us all. Our current policy for actually controlling people in political office, or those who are officially employed, poses a threat to what FB stands for. We strongly object to this policy as it now stands. It does not protect votes, but allows politicians to arm our platform by targeting people who believe that content posted by political figures is reliable.
Allowing paid citizen information provision to be performed on the platform in its current state has the potential to:
– Increase mistrust in our platform by letting comparable paid and organic content sit side by side – some with external fact-finding and others without. Moreover, it communicates that we OK benefit from intentional misinformation campaigns by people in positions of power.
– Undo integrity products. Integrity teams are currently working hard to give users more context about the content they see, degrading violent content and more. For the 2020 election result, these teams made difficult choices about what to support and what not, and this policy will reverse much of that work by undermining confidence in the platform. And after the 2020 closure, this policy can continue to cause damage in upcoming elections around the world.
Proposals for improvement
Our aim is to make our leadership aware that a large part of the staff member does not agree with this policy. We want to work with our leadership to develop better solutions that protect both our company and the people who use our products. We know that this work is nuanced, but there are many things that we can do without completely removing political ads.
These suggestions are all focused on ad-related content, not organic.
1. Keep political advertisements at the same standard as other advertisements.
a. Wrong information shared by political advertisers has too great a damaging impact on our community. We must not accept money for political ads without applying the standards that our other ads must meet.
2. Stronger visual design treatment for political advertisements.
a. People struggle to distinguish political advertisements from organic messages. We must apply stronger design treatment to political advertisements that make it easier for people to create context.
3. Limit targeting for political ads.
a. Currently, politicians and political campaigns can use our advanced targeting tools, such as Custom Audiences. It is common for political advertisers to upload voter lists (which are publicly available to reach voters) and then use behavioral tools (such as the FB pixel) and advertising engagement to further refine advertisements. The risk of allowing this is that it is difficult for people in the electorate to participate in the "public control" that we say is accompanied by political speech. These ads are often so micro-focused that conversations on our platforms are much quieter than on other platforms. We currently limit housing and education targeting and credit vertical due to a history of discrimination. We must impose similar restrictions on political advertisements.
4. Broader compliance with the silence of the elections
a. Note the silence of the elections in accordance with local laws and regulations. Explore a self-imposed election silence for all elections around the world to act in good faith and as good citizens.
5. Spend caps for individual politicians, regardless of the source
a. FB has stated that one of the benefits of running political advertisements is that more voices are heard. However, well-known politicians can cast new votes and outdo the competition. To solve this, if you have a PAC and a politician who display both ads, there would be a limit that applies to both together, rather than to each advertiser individually.
6. Clearer policy for political advertisements
a. If FB does not change the policy for political ads, we must update the way they are displayed. It is not immediately clear to consumers and advertisers that political advertisements are exempt from the fact that other advertisements are run through. It must be easy for everyone to understand that our advertising policy on misinformation does not apply to original political content or advertisements, especially as political misinformation is more destructive than other types of misinformation.
Therefore, the part of the policy should be moved from "prohibited content" (which is not allowed at all) to "restricted content" (what is allowed with restrictions).
We want to have this conversation in an open dialogue because we want to see the actual change.
We are proud of the work done by the integrity teams and we do not want this to be undermined by policy. We will continue this conversation in the coming months and we look forward to working together on solutions.
This is still our company.
. (tagsToTranslate) dailymail (t) news (t) US Election 2020 (t) Hillary Clinton