Facebook is one of the most prominent social networking sites and along with that, it is getting dominance in the arena of digital marketing. Facebook can play a very pivotal role in portraying someone as a devil or vice-versa.
Over the weekend, Facebook did something which it couldn’t afford to do, entered into an open feud with the Democrats and especially with Elizabeth Warren for the presidential election.
At the time of the last presidential election in the US which witnessed the victory of Donald Trump, the use of social media and marketing was so evident and that’s the reason a term got the fame then, “Trump Campaign”. So, this the reason that an ambiance of fear has been created because there is going to be the re-election and the trend can be continued or it already got the way out, according to the recent news.
Tensions Between Democrats And Facebook
Tension between Facebook and Democrats is so palpable and even getting the heat nowadays that this fight has even reached to another social media platform “Twitter”.
Recently, Facebook is flooded with plenty of information regarding Trump and his claims against his competitor Joe Biden and the Ukrainian scandal also dominated the news cycle in recent times. Facebook is even giving way to every single news of the political leaders without even checking the facts, it is the reason that it is occupied by plenty of news which is most of the time is misleading and contentious.
The controversy came to a breaking point when Elizabeth Warren challenged Facebook’s advertising policies, claimed that Facebook is so reluctant in keeping the fake news away from its platform or even promoting these ads from politicians.
Elizabeth Warren also claimed that Facebook is promoting every single news which comes up on its platform and there is no vigilance over such news promoting by other politicians to defame other politicians and she proved this thing with a test which she did by promoting a fake ad in which she claims that Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg had endorsed Donald Trump for re-election in 2020. That ad even showed the picture of Trump shaking the hands with Mark Zuckerberg. After this she gives her statement in a tweet, “We intentionally made a Facebook ad with false claims and submitted it to Facebook’s ad platform to see if it’d be approved” and as expected this ad got approval and was quickly ran on the platform.
Facebook has enormous power in affecting every election because of its reach which gives it uncontrollable potential to change the young heads.
As Warren seeing this, Facebook is giving a lot of potential to some politicians who want to disseminate misleading information for the sake of elections by defaming others. Also, Facebook’s ads play an important role on the political grounds because Facebook’s ads are so much like TV ads in terms of the consequences and that’s the reason that Democrats have realized that it is the time to take hold of the Facebook’s ads policies directly. Warren and Facebook are indulged in the feud directly and amidst all this, she put out her big policy plan to break up big tech companies like Facebook, Google.
Facebook even put down Warren’s ad, saying that it has violated their advertising policies but when criticisms took their way out, Facebook reinstated the ad.
Rejoinder OF Facebook After Warren’s Fake Ad: In response to Warren’s tweet Facebook tweeted from its PR account, saying that it seems like broadcasting stations have aired this ad around 1000 times, as required by the law and then quotes that FCC(Federal Communications Commission) doesn’t want to cut down the freedom of the candidates to speak freely, also countered the Warren by saying, “We agree it’s better to let voters – not companies – decide.”
The Bidden campaign penned the letter to Facebook and Twitter, to remove the ads placed by Trump’s re-election campaign that are making the claims like Bidden’s son Hunter has corruption charges or was facing the probe in Ukraine and it all happened especially after the phone call of the Donald Trump to the Ukrainian President. So, the fear on the side of opposition has taken the toll and seeing the floods of ads on Facebook who are claiming about the same. That’ how the conflict between Democrats and Facebook started but a question here arises whether Democrats remained successful in letting Facebook delete these ads or not.
Not even a single ad is removed till now from Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. All these sites have claimed that they are not violating any advertising policy.
Impact Of The Democrats’ Allegations On Facebook
Over the year, Facebook has faced the criticisms from the side of Republicans with some of their baseless arguments vis-a-vis censoring the speeches of conservatives and this led to the tech CEO Mark Zuckerberg to spend more time on Capitol Hill and spoke directly to these lawmakers and hosted some meetings or the “informal talks” with some conservative pundits and lawmakers like Ben Shapiro and Sen. The main motive of the DNC(Democratic Nationalist Committee) is to counter those institutions who are spreading any kind of misinformation- and disinformation, but with Facebook, seems like their call may fall on the deaf ears.
“It’s up to you whether you take money to promote lies. You can be in the disinformation-for-profit business, or you can hold yourself to some standards. In fact, those standards were in your policy. Why the change? Warren urged to Facebook in her tweet.
Warren has targeted Facebook many times in her tweet for its ads of false claims.
An audio was leaked from an internal Facebook meeting of July in which the whole staff was saying to Zuckerberg that they would fight if Warren were elected as a president and would try to split up Facebook.
All the claims of Democrats to Facebook seem to have no such effect on Facebook’s advertising policies and Facebook also buttressed itself under FCC who supports the publication of all the ads or claims by politicians or any candidate as their freedom of speech and expression.
Why Has Facebook Become A Platform For Election Campaigns?
It’s been noted that Facebook has humungous reach in the US among citizens especially amongst the youth and it’s also been seen that many politicians have divided their audience for their digital campaign, for instance, Joseph Biden focusses more on women while Mr. Sanders’s audience is mainly men. According to the reports, 19 Democratic candidates for president have spent $32 million on Facebook which is more than they ever spent on TV ads, which itself shows the influence of social media campaigns on politics. This 2020 election campaign has marked the difference as this time Facebook is publicly publishing who is buying these ads and whom they are targeting.