General election 2019: Facebook bans Tory ad over BBC footage

A spokesman for the Conservatives denied that the Facebook ads intended to create the impression that the BBC journalists were supporting the party's positions

Ahead of the 2020 US Presidential election and just weeks away from the UK General Election, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has dug in on his decision to allow the spread of false information on the social media platform.

Appearing alongside his wife Priscilla Chan, Zuckerberg said "I don't think that a private company should be censoring politicians or news", and that "people should be able to judge for themselves the character of politicians". But Zuckerberg has argued that banning Facebook ads is a violation of freedom of expression.

"This is clearly a very complex issue, and many people have many different opinions", Zuckerberg said.

Challenged on CBS over the policy, which has raised concerns over misinformation campaigns that could distort elections, Zuckerberg refused to commit to any changes. In an interview released Monday, he said in a democracy people should be able to see for themselves what politicians are saying.

On Thursday, the Tories rejected a request from the BBC's lawyers to remove the 15-second video.

The corporation told the social network that the adverts infringed on its intellectual property rights, after claiming they could "damage perceptions of our impartiality". Some of the most intense exchanges the CEO had during the 6-hour-long hearing were with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who questioned him if she could buy Facebook ads with lies about her political opponents.


"I mean... we talked about a number of things that were on his mind".

NBC News reporter Ben Collins pointed out that the transparency Zuckerberg was celebrating apparently didn't extend to his refusal to reveal what the president said during their dinner.

A Facebook report of advertisements run in the seven days to November 30 showed just 201 Conservative adverts were in the platform's Ad Library, with the party spending thousands of pounds less than the Liberal Democrats, Labour or Brexit Party in that time.

Requested if Trump attempted to entrance hall him concerning Fb's insurance coverage by host Gayle King, Zuckerberg mentioned "No".

ZUCKERBERG: "Ah, sure, I mean, we talked about, ahm, a number of things that were on his mind, and, um, some of the topics that you'd read about in the news around, around, um, our work".

"When Mark and I talk about these issues together, I also have the lens of being an educator and pediatrician that's worked deeply with families and individuals in all types of communities", Chan said.

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