Star Wars actor Mark Hamill has decided to delete his Facebook account due to the social networking company’s policy on political ads.
In a tweet, Star Wars’ Mark Hamill announced that he has deleted his Facebook account due to the firms’ political ads policy. He also accused Facebook chief executive officer (CEO) Mark Zuckerberg of prioritizing profit over truthfulness.
Hamill wrote on his tweet: “So disappointed that #MarkZuckerberg values profit more than truthfulness that I’ve decided to delete my @Facebook account. I know this is a big ‘Who Cares?’ for the world at large, but I’ll sleep better at night. #PatriotismOverProfits”
The actor’s post follows Facebook’s decision to allow politicians to run ads that contain lies on its platform. The social networking firm argued that it does not believe decisions about which political ads run should be left to private companies.
While Facebook declined to address Hamill’s post, it defended its policy. Rob Leathern, Facebook’s director of product management, said: “In the absence of regulation, Facebook and other companies are left to design their own policies.”
“We have based ours on the principle that people should be able to hear from those who wish to lead them, warts and all, and that what they say should be scrutinized and debated in public,” added Leathern.
However, other US technology companies have chosen to implement more restrictive policies on political ads. Facebook-owned Twitter will ban political ads altogether.
Alex Krasodomski-Jones from the UK-based think tank Demos pointed out: “Facebook is bucking the trend in the run-up to the US elections later this year. The chorus of critical voices – from public figures and politicians – will grow louder as US presidential candidates ramp up their campaign spending.”
Alex Stamos, Facebook’s former security chief, expressed disappointment that his former company was not even screening whether politicians were deliberately misrepresenting what their rivals were saying.