If the Russian-bought election interference ads hadn’t been bought by fraudulent accounts, “Most of them would be allowed to run” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said this morning. “The responsibility of an open platform is to allow people to express themselves” she said during the first of an Axios interview series with Facebook execs.
“The thing about free expression is when you allow free expression you allow are free expression” Sandberg said, noting that “we don’t check what people post” and that she doesn’t think people should want it to.
The perspective maintains Facebook’s neutrality across the political spectrum and absolves it from being the truth police. But it also means that it’s knowingly creating a platform where people can misinform each other. And that raises the question of how free speech scales to user-generated content sharing networks that lack the curation and editorial oversight of traditional news distribution systems.
During her talk, Sandberg also confirmed that Facebook will support congressional investigators into election interference when they release the Russian bought ads to the public. She said Facebook will provide congress any content it wants, including non-ads, and that targeting information about the ads will be released as well.