Facebook closes political ads loophole ahead of U.S. presidential election
UNTV News • June 18, 2020 • 397
Facebook Inc. said on Tuesday (June 17) it would affix labels to political ads shared by users on their own feeds, closing what critics have said for years was a glaring loophole in the company’s election transparency measures.
The world’s biggest social network has attached a “paid for by” disclaimer to political ads since 2018, after facing a backlash for failing to stop Russia from using its platforms to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
But the label disappeared once people shared the ads to their own feeds, which critics said undermined its utility and allowed misinformation to continue spreading unchecked.
Facebook introduced a similar labelling approach for state news media earlier this month, but that label also sometimes drops off with sharing and does not appear when users post their own links to those outlets.
The company has been facing demands to do more to combat false viral information before the Nov. 3 presidential election, including by presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who called Facebooks’s chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg on June 11 to reverse his decision to exempt political ads from fact-checking.
Zuckerberg has touted transparency tools in response, arguing that voters should be able to examine statements from would-be political leaders unimpeded.
In a USA Today op-ed on Tuesday, he pledged to display a Voting Information Center at the top of U.S. users’ news feeds. He also said the company would aim to help 4 million people register to vote, double its goal for 2016. (Reuters)
U.S. President Donald Trump demoted his longtime campaign manager on Wednesday (July 15), a move aimed at shoring up his re-election bid as he trails Democratic candidate Joe Biden in opinion polls less than four months before the November 3 vote.
Trump said campaign manager Brad Parscale would be replaced by Bill Stepien, who has been the deputy campaign manager. Parscale will shift to a role focused on digital and data strategy, the president said.
A leadership shakeup had long been rumored. Parscale was blamed internally for a botched Tulsa, Oklahoma, rally last month that drew a much smaller crowd than he predicted. A subsequent coronavirus outbreak forced Parscale and other campaign officials who attended to self-quarantine for two weeks.
A source close to the campaign said Trump has been anxious about the polls “and struck at the most visible target he could,” adding that Parscale has been “a straight-shooter about the president’s challenges.”
Stepien, a longtime Republican strategist, is well known to both Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who has been playing a more active role in the campaign. Stepien was political director at the White House before moving to the campaign.
In his statement, Trump credited both Parscale and Stepien for their involvement in his 2016 victory in the U.S. presidential election and predicted that he would glide to a second term in office. (Reuters)
Ten months after the death of her husband, a wife still received a heart-warming surprise from him for their 25th wedding anniversary.
Aly Mendoza received an email from her late father regarding instructions for an anniversary surprise. The email also contained a letter for her mother.
“Apparently before my dad passed away 10 months ago, he planned everything, he even contacted and paid for a florist to deliver flowers to my mom for the coming years on every special occasion, my mom’s birthday (August 19,) Valentine’s Day, and their anniversary (June 10),” she wrote in her post.
“Even if they’re not physically together, even though he’s no longer here, he was still able to surprise and make my mom happy. Not even death could stop my dad from loving my mom and showing her how much she meant to him,” she added.
Aly said her dad picked the flowers for the bouquet: white and pink.
“White roses are special to my parents because when my dad was courting her, my mom had two suitors. She told herself that whoever gives her white roses was ‘the one and obviously it was my dad who gave her white roses,” Aly said.
Aly felt the joy her mom felt when she saw the surprise. She shared how her parent’s love endures—and not even death could make them part. AAC
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