Menendez Blasts Facebook’s “Continued Failure to Fact-Check Politicians”; Urges the Platform to Add Warning Labels

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) blasted Facebook for “its continued failure to fact-check posts by politicians.”

In a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Sen. Menendez expressed concerns for “potential harmful or false content that often distorts our political conversations, especially during a presidential election year.” The letter comes days after Twitter began adding warning labels to refute inaccuracies in President Trump’s messages on its platform.

“I write to urge you to address the proliferation of disinformation on Facebook, specifically as it pertains to political speech.” Sen. Menendez wrote in a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “The recent decision by Twitter to apply warning labels to President Trump’s tweets, shows that social media companies can both allow users to exercise their freedom of speech, while preventing false, or potentially harmful content from spreading across their platforms.”

Last week, as a response to Twitter’s actions, President Trump threatened to “punish Facebook, YouTube, or other platforms that interfered with his ability to communicate directly with his followers”. “The President’s response to this action (…) should not discourage you from following in Twitter’s footsteps,” noted Sen. Menendez in his letter to Zuckerberg.

In a recent interview, Zuckerberg explained why he thinks “Facebook or internet platforms in general should be arbiters of truth,” arguing his platform has no plans to start fact-checking what politicians post.

“Your refusal to fact-check public officials and politicians represents a major gap in your efforts to ensure the veracity of content on your site, and it is in direct contradiction with your mission to ‘give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together,’” Sen. Menendez continued. “Bringing the world together with posts that incite hate and spread misinformation is certainly not the goal you set to achieve, and is not the right of way of building communities or conducting a business.”

“Adding warning labels to content that incites violence or misrepresent facts is a reasonable and achievable goal that would limit the spread of this content without compromising freedom of speech. I hope you reconsider this matter soon, before we look back at another presidential election and see an outcome distorted by your inaction,” Sen. Menendez concluded.


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There are 9 Comments to "Menendez Blasts Facebook’s “Continued Failure to Fact-Check Politicians”; Urges the Platform to Add Warning Labels"

  • Ron Benvenisti says:

    Unfortunately, it is not up to Twitter or anyone else, to make these so-called “fact checks”.

    The first amendment is very clear with regards to what is restricted, And there is a process to fact check certain of these restrictions:

    “restrictions on the use of untruths to harm others (slander and libel), and communications while a person is in prison. When a speech restriction is challenged in court, it is presumed invalid and the government bears the burden of convincing the court that the restriction is constitutional”.

    Sorry, Menendez, this is not up to Twitter, it’s up to the courts. You do remember those, correct?

    They were the institutions that found you guilty of ethics violations, abuse of power, and bribery. (fact checked).

    Even your friends at Twitter have not been found guilty of that, yet.

  • steve says:

    Menendez is a Joke

  • Conservative says:

    He doesn’t know how to read. Only re-write.

  • Sam says:

    This guy Menendez is a total joke.

  • justsayin.... says:

    Fact checking is one thing, censorship is another.
    Fact check everyone, not just the people that you don’t agree with.
    Fact checking only the people that you disagree with is censorship.

  • TruthLaser says:

    Guess what Menendez would say if the vast majority of “fact checkers” and media platforms were not left wing? If conservatives had that role, it would go something like this:

    “How dare those right wing fascist nazis threaten the sacred 1st Amendment right to free speech!!!!”

  • Consergative says:

    A couple of hundred years before you were protected by the rock you must have crawled under. The government is not censoring, Twitter is. Get any sun lately?