After Facebook has been criticized for its policies on political advertisements in the recent weeks, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel has voiced his support for fact-checking politicians.
In an interview on CNBC, he asserted that all advertising, including political advertising, is subject to review. He also highlighted the importance of placing factual political ads on Snapchat, as it’s a platform that reaches numerous young people, among whom many are first-time voters that could easily be misled.
Facebook came under fire for its ad policies earlier this year, after it let President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign post an unsubstantiated ad about Joe Biden on the platform. In the following months, leading social media platforms have been questioned about their policies regarding fact-checking ads placed by political candidates, with their answers sparking skepticism from legislators and regulators alike.
After the Joe Biden campaign contacted Facebook, the company’s public policy director for global elections, Katie Harbath, revealed that it does not fact-check politicians.
This controversial company policy was justified by Facebook’s belief in free expression and respect for the democratic process. At the time, Harbath cited the company’s conviction that political speech already undergoes the most scrutiny.
A mere few weeks later, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced on his platform that the company would be seeking to ban all political advertisements on November 22nd. On November 15th, Twitter already had two various sets of rules for regulating political and cause-based advertisements on the platform.
It is worth noting that both Twitter and Snapchat’s political advertising businesses are significantly smaller than Facebook’s, with Twitter only bringing in $3 million with its political advertisements during the 2018 midterm season. It has also been estimated that the 2020 Democratic candidates have spent just around $200,000 on Snapchat.