In response, Facebook noted that it faces contrary pressure from the Trump administration not to engage fact-checking, and called on elected officials to resolve the company’s dilemma.
“Just as they have done with broadcast networks — where the US government prohibits rejecting politicians’ campaign ads — the people’s elected representatives should set the rules, and we will follow them,” the company said.
The Biden campaign wants Facebook to take four steps to regulate the flow of false information. The campaign asked Facebook to promote “trustworthy” sources of information, “rather than the rants of bad actors and conspiracy theorists.”
The campaign also wants Facebook to remove “false” information that goes viral, to prevent candidates and political action committees from lying in ads, and to set rules against making threats and lying about how to participate in the election.
In its response, Facebook noted that President Donald Trump had signed an executive order two weeks ago that aims to prevent social media companies from fact-checking political speech.
“We live in a democracy, where the elected officials decide the rules around campaigns,” the company said. “There is an election coming in November and we will protect political speech, even when we strongly disagree with it.”
In the open letter, the Biden campaign said there should be a two-week period leading up to the election in which all political ads on Facebook are fact-checked.
“Right now, we’re less than 150 days to the election,” the letter states. “The time for setting, testing, and implementing meaningful policy to protect our elections is running out. Facebook — do the right thing. Do your part and change your policies to ensure we have a fair election this November.”