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Facebook Embraces Free Speech over Censorship on Political Ads

January 9, 2020

WASHINGTON — Today, Facebook announced it would not be changing its policy regarding political ads but rather offering a new set of tools providing users with more transparency about political ads on its platform as well as the ability to block them. This follows months of speculation that Facebook would follow Google’s lead in banning microtargeting in political ads, which would substantially hinder the effectiveness of campaigns with limited resources.

In response, Jon Schweppe, director of policy and government affairs for American Principles Project, released the following statement applauding the decision:

Our organization often finds itself in disagreement with Facebook on a number of policies. Today, however, we are encouraged by Facebook’s decision to embrace free speech over censorship.

Unlike Google, which recently decided to ban ‘microtargeting’ — the ability for political candidates and issue campaigns to directly message voters, even using their own independently curated lists — Facebook appears to be taking seriously its responsibility to allow a free and healthy political discourse on its platform.

In a speech in Washington, D.C. late last year, Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerburg, called for tech companies to ‘err on the side of free expression.’ He’s absolutely right, and it is encouraging to see that these were more than just words.

Big Tech platforms like Facebook and Google have in essence become the modern public square — where we buy and sell goods, where we freely exchange ideas, where we speak and where we are heard. Thus, even on these privately owned platforms, it is important and necessary to defend our most sacred freedoms.

Facebook will face a lot of criticism from the Left for taking this principled stand. Nevertheless, we encourage them to continue to courageously do the right thing.

Disclaimer: American Principles Project does not receive any funding from Facebook.

To schedule an interview with an APP policy expert, contact Paul Dupont at (o) 202-503-2010 or pdupont@americanprinciplesproject.org.


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