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Facebook helped elect Donald Trump in 2016, says executive | Social networks

A Facebook executive said, in an internal company memo, that the social network helped elect the President of the United States, Donald Trump, but only because he knew how to use marketing platforms in the best way in the 2016 campaign. The statement was made in last month is published this Tuesday (7) by the newspaper The New York Times. Andrew Bosworth, who heads Facebook's augmented reality division, wrote that Trump "was not elected thanks to Russia, disinformation or Cambridge Analytica", but rather "because he had the best digital advertising campaign ever seen".

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In addition, Bosworth believes that Facebook's rules would have contributed to the election of the president in 2016. According to the executive, this could happen again in 2020, as the company maintains a policy of not inspecting political ads on the platform.

Facebook executive says social network helped elect Donald Trump in 2016 Photo: Anna Kellen Bull / TechFacebook executive says social network helped elect Donald Trump in 2016 Photo: Anna Kellen Bull / Tech

Facebook executive says social network helped elect Donald Trump in 2016 Photo: Anna Kellen Bull / Tech

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Bosworth, who in the election year was head of Facebook's advertising division, admitted in the December 30 memorandum that he personally wanted Trump's defeat. However, he said he decided not to interfere with social media advertising systems to get votes for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. He mentions, however, that the rules of the advertising platform contributed to the victory of the current president.

The message refers to Facebook's policy of not reviewing political ads. Two years after the 2016 election, a former Cambridge Analytica employee revealed that the consulting firm had planted fake news on the social network to benefit the Trump campaign. The practice would have been favored by the lack of monitoring by the platform.

At a hearing in the United States Senate, Mark Zuckerberg confirmed that the company's advertising policy does not involve fact-checking in advertisements, including those carried out by election campaigns. In addition to the issue of fake news, the founder of the social network was also asked to clarify the misuse of data from millions of users by Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook executive admits social network's influence in Trump's 2016 election Photo: Carolina Ochsendorf / TechTudoFacebook executive admits social network's influence in Trump's 2016 election Photo: Carolina Ochsendorf / TechTudo

Facebook executive admits social network's influence in Trump's 2016 election Photo: Carolina Ochsendorf / TechTudo

Since then, Facebook has made several changes to privacy policies to restrict the use of data by third-party applications. The social network, however, does not intend to start checking any misinformation in advertisements for the US presidential elections scheduled for 2020. The measure goes against Google, which announced restrictions on this type of advertising, and Twitter, which banned sponsored posts from politicians. on the microblog.

According to the New York Times, the message on Bosworth's internal profile generated a wave of comments from other company employees. Several demanded a more energetic positioning of the social network in order to change the posture in the intermediation of advertisements in order to prevent the distribution of fake news on a large scale in the electoral period.

The executive, however, defends Facebook's current position, although he admits that the decision "may well lead to Trump's reelection".

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