Reading List – Monday 28th October 2019

Three articles related to social media and political advertising today. As a reminder, you can read my own investigations into the matter here and here.


A Buzzfeed investigation has discovered that more than 160 political adverts have been removed from Facebook in the first half of October alone for breaching site rules, even though the platform claims that it does not censor political adverts.

“None of these political ads were rejected on the basis of being deemed false by our fact-checkers,” a Facebook spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. “They were removed for violating one or more of Facebook’s other advertising policies, such as our policy against using fake buttons in ads.” The Trump ad, for example, was taken down for violating Facebook’s rules against profanity in advertisements, the company spokesperson explained.


Sue Halpern in the New Yorker reviews Mark Zuckerberg’s appearance in front of Congress last week and discusses why Facebook should not be seen as just another boradcaster, nor as a neutral platform. Nick Clegg also gets a namecheck.


Finally, the Guardian reports that Facebook’s independent fact-checkers only learned that they were meant to be checking advertisements fro accuracy from Mark Zuckerberg’s statements to congress. However this only applies to commercial adverts and not to political or issue-based content.