On Sunday, December 1, 2019, Facebook removed seven Conservative Party ads right as elections are quickly approaching in the United Kingdom.
Facebook was prompted to do so after the BBC complained about them criticizing the news outlet’s impartiality.
“We have removed this content following a valid intellectual property claim from the rights holder, the BBC,” a spokesman for Facebook said in an email to Bloomberg.
The BBC News Press Team commented on November 28, explaining they are “aware of Conservative Party Facebook adverts using edited BBC content.”
“This is a completely unacceptable use of BBC content which distorts our output and which could damage perceptions of our impartiality. We are asking the Conservatives to remove these adverts,” the complaint stated.
The Press Association reported that one of the ads the BBC complained about is an edited video clip featuring BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg say “pointless delay to Brexit.” In addition, there was another scene of newsreader Huw Edwards stating “another Brexit delay.”
BBC claims that the wording of the ads makes it appear that the news station is supporting the Tories in the run-up to elections on December 12.
A Conservative Party spokesman responded by claiming in an email that ad is not misrepresenting the BBC but works to “remind voters of the deadlock and delay of the last three years caused by a broken Parliament that did everything it could to block Brexit.” The spokesman added that viewers “can judge for themselves” while it “is clear the footage was not edited in a manner that misleads or changes the reporting.”
As opposed to Twitter’s leadership, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg recently stood by his decision to not interfere with political ads appearing on the platform, because the variety of political ads allows for greater freedom of speech. Further, Zuckerberg claimed that diverse political advertising leads to increased political pluralism.
This move came on the heels of the outrage over Facebook’s security policies, with new reports of Facebook users’ private information being leaked on a regular basis.
Amnesty International criticized Facebook’s policies and recommended that the company discard its “surveillance–based business model.” It contends that these policies have been causing multiple human rights violations, as users have become angry about data leakages and companies constantly targeting them in corporate ads.
The war against free speech has become global.
Big Tech’s rootless nature and affinity for globalism has made it some of the most effective enforcers of political correctness.
The battlefield in the war of ideas is changing. Unconventional tactics are being used, which will require the Right to fine tune its tactics and be ready to effectively strike back.