In 2016, we saw what happens when social media platforms are left unchecked and allow disinformation to run rampant, putting the integrity of our elections at risk. We’re determined to not let it happen again in 2020.
We’ve engaged with representatives from Facebook and have expressed deep concerns with their policy that politicians can say anything in content and ads. (Yes, including Donald Trump.)
We have tried to offer solutions to help protect our democratic process.
But now, less than 150 days out from Election Day, Facebook has yet to enact any real reforms.
Candidates and dark money groups continue to fill your screens with blatantly false ads. And Facebook appears to be creating exceptions for Donald Trump to violate their policies against incitement and misinformation about elections.
So we need your help. We’re releasing an open letter to Facebook, calling on the company to change its policies, including by instituting a two-week pre-election restricted period during which political advertisements must be fact-checked before they are permitted to run. And we’re posting all our signatures online, so they know exactly how the American people feel.
Will you take action to sign the open letter today and demand a fair election?
We’re releasing the entirety of our open letter below for all of our supporters to read and sign — and we hope you’ll join us today in adding your name to demand action.
Dear Mark Zuckerberg,
Over the past year, the Biden for President campaign has called on Facebook to meet the commitment the company made after 2016 — to use its platform to improve American democracy rather than as a tool to spread disinformation that undermines our elections. The campaign has proposed meaningful ways to check disinformation on your platform and to limit the effect of false ads.
But Facebook has taken no meaningful action. It continues to allow Donald Trump to say anything — and to pay to ensure that his wild claims reach millions of voters. SuperPACs and other dark money groups are following his example. Trump and his allies have used Facebook to spread fear and misleading information about voting, attempting to compromise the means of holding power to account: our voices and our ballot boxes.
So where do we go from here?
We have offered the following concrete recommendations to fix the problems in Facebook’s platform that pose a threat to free and fair elections.
We call for Facebook to proactively stem the tide of false information by no longer amplifying untrustworthy content and promptly fact-checking election-related material that goes viral.
We call for Facebook to stop allowing politicians to hide behind paid misinformation in the hope that the truth will catch up only after Election Day. There should be a two-week pre-election period during which all political advertisements must be fact-checked before they are permitted to run on Facebook.
And we call for clear rules — applied to everyone, including Donald Trump — that prohibit threatening behavior and lies about how to participate in the election.
Anything less will render Facebook a tool of misinformation that corrodes our democracy. Facebook has promised better. And American voters deserve better.
Right now, we’re less than 150 days to the election. 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.