Star Wars actor Mark Hamill has deleted his Facebook account over the social media site’s refusal to fact check political ads on its platform. According to Hamill, Mark Zuckerberg “values profit more than truthfulness” as demonstrated by his decision not to censor political ads. Facebook says its policy is based 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.”
In a recent tweet, Star Wars and Batman: The Animated Series actor Mark Hamill announced his decision to delete his Facebook account in protest of the website’s refusal to fact-check political ads on its platform. The actor wrote in the 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 also mistakenly used the flag of Malaysia when attempting to post an emoji of the American flag before correcting this in a second tweet. Hamill’s tweet can be seen below:
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 🇲🇾>Ὃ https://t.co/seb2eJMTo6
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) January 12, 2020
The New York Times reported in a recent article titled “Facebook Says It Won’t Back Down From Allowing Lies in Political Ads,” that Facebook has no plans to fact check political ads on its platform despite intense pressure to do so. Ahead of the 2020 presidential election, Facebook reportedly refuses to make major changes to its ad policies or end practices such as micro-targeting which allow advertisers to focus on specific groups of Facebook users.
The New York Times writes:
“In the absence of regulation, Facebook and other companies are left to design their own policies,” Rob Leathern, Facebook’s director of product management overseeing the advertising integrity division, said in the post. “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.”
Other social media companies have decided otherwise, and some had hoped Facebook would quietly follow their lead. In late October, Twitter’s chief executive, Jack Dorsey, banned all political advertising from his network, citing the challenges that novel digital systems present to civic discourse. Google quickly followed suit with limits on political ads across some of its properties, though narrower in scope.
Read more about Facebook’s refusal to back down from political pressure here.