Forget the money, show the integrity

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Forget the money, show the integrity

Kurowei Indiamaowei, Contributing Writer

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Just last week, Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was attacked for his policy of allowing the continued use of false political ads on their site. This policy has created much controversy regarding Facebook, as some agree and some disagree with Zuckerberg’s decision. I believe he should be held responsible for the use of false advertisements, because as such a well-known figure, he has a moral responsibility to set an example.

When attacked by critics who thought that his use of ads might have been influenced by the potential to make more revenue, Zuckerberg defended himself against such allegations. He claimed that Facebook ads make up less than half a percent of its revenue. Assuming this is true, Zuckerberg fails to recognize the reasons this may be so concerning. Even if Facebook doesn’t place such ads for revenue, these misleading ads should stop. While Zuckerberg expresses that he doesn’t think  “it’s right for public companies to censor policies or the news,” the use of false information is outright lying to the public.

The spreading of false information also causes the public to be misinformed about what is going on in politics. Some people will come across such ads trust them to be accurate. Suddenly, this false news will spread across people regarding politicians, causing them to be influenced by inaccurate information. This isn’t fair to the people, as they have a right to know what is really happening with politics, not just fed lies regarding it. Also, this is unfair to politicians, because with false information being spread about them, this contributes to a negative image portraying them, one that is not even true. They hurt these politicians’ reputations for no reason.

A major point to address is that Zuckerberg needs to be a positive role model as a key public figure. Many people look to him as an inspiration and role model. Presenting false ads regarding politicians is not a very moral thing to do, and I don’t think it is something a person of Zuckerberg’s statute should be doing. A controversy such as this one can influence people the wrong way. They might think that these actions may not be immoral or see his actions as less severe than they really are because their role model is doing them. Other businesses may take on this mentality, and start doing this or even similar things because Facebook, an extremely prominent and influential business, set a negative example.

While some people may agree with Zuckerberg’s actions, I do not. I don’t see how it is fair for someone to complacently allow lies to circulate and spread. While Zuckerburg is a great businessman and CEO, I still believe he has a moral responsibility to set an example, necessitating his immediate eradication of these false ads.