Snapchat has joined the list of social networking services that say they will (or already do) fact-check stories and advertisements on their respective platforms to root out fake news and malicious content. In an interview to CNBC on Monday, Snap’s founder and CEO, Evan Spiegel, said that the company has a dedicated fact-finding team that already fact-checks all political advertising on the platform.
According to him, “We subject all advertising to review, including political advertising. And I think what we try to do is create a place for political ads on our platform, especially because we reach so many young people and first-time voters we want them to be able to engage with the political conversation, but we don’t allow things like misinformation to appear in that advertising”.
The decision comes a few weeks after Twitter announced plans to ban all political advertising worldwide in an attempt to stop the spread of fake news and misinformation. In a tweet last last month, the company’s founder and CEO, Jack Dorsey, said: “While internet advertising is incredibly powerful and very effective for commercial advertisers, that power brings significant risks to politics”.
Now that Snapchat has also joined the bandwagon, it is likely to put further pressure on Facebook, whose controversial founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, recently fell afoul of US lawmakers and activists after categorically rejecting calls to fact-check political advertising on the site citing free speech. With the platform already under heavy scrutiny following multiple instances of high-profile data-breaches, Zuckerberg himself has come under fire in recent times from investors, lawmakers and users alike for his actions, which may have described as arrogant and apathetic.