Stephen King, a well-known American horror writer, deleted his Facebook account amid concerns that the platform supported “a lot of false information” and failed to protect users’ privacy,media reported on February 3. On Friday, the social media prolific user announced his decision to millions of fans on Twitter.
He joined criticism of social media giant Facebook, which has ignored public demands to remove false statements from politicians. Facebook also decided last month to retain tools to help politicians and other groups target its target audience, fueling fears that Facebook will mislead voters in the 2020 U.S. election.
Stephen King points to Facebook’s moves on political advertising and privacy as the reason for his departure. He said people could continue to follow him on Twitter. Last year, Twitter announced that it would not run political ads, in stark contrast to Facebook. King has long used Twitter to express his political views, and recently announced his support for Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts. “I will support and work for any Democrat who wins the nomination, but I support Elizabeth Warren,” he wrote. ”
Stephen King has been an outspoken opponent of U.S. President Donald Trump. Last fall, Mr. Trump’s post put Facebook’s philosophy of political speech in the spotlight. At the time, Facebook came under fire for broadcasting a 30-second video from the Trump campaign that falsely claimed that Joe Biden “promised to provide $1 billion to Ukraine if they fired the prosecutor investigating his son’s company.” CNN declined to air the ad, saying it had “made assertions that have been proved wrong by various news outlets.” When Biden’s campaign asked Facebook to remove the ad, Facebook rejected the request, citing its “fundamental belief in freedom of expression, respect for the democratic process, and political discourse in mature democracies with freedom of the press.”
Democratic lawmakers and other potential candidates who could face Trump in 2020 have accused Facebook of allowing Him to peddle “fake news” that he often complains about. Elizabeth Warren sharply criticized the policy in an ad, beginning with: “Breaking news: Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook have just endorsed Donald Trump for re-election. ”
“You may be shocked, you may think, ‘How could this be true?'” The ad says, “Well, it’s not.” (Sorry). But what Zuckerberg did was let Donald Trump lie on his platform as he pleased – and then pay Facebook to push their lies to American voters. ”
Facebook has defended its actions, saying it defends freedom of speech. Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s chief executive, argued that his company should not try to arbitrate politicians’ comments, despite his concerns that it was an “erosion of the truth”.
“I don’t think people want to live in a world where you can only say what technology companies think is 100 percent right,” Zuckerberg told The Washington Post last fall. I think these tensions are something we have to face. ”
Facebook has also been trying to reassure regulators and more than 2 billion users that it is carefully handling people’s data, especially after the political consulting and data company Cambridge Analytica was exposed to using millions of Facebook user profiles for political propaganda without personal consent. The scandal sparked a public outcry, with Facebook announcing last year that it was suspending tens of thousands of apps over concerns that they were abusing people’s information.
Stephen King isn’t the first celebrity to quit Facebook. Celebrities such as singer Cher and actor Will Ferrell deleted their Facebook accounts as early as the 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal. In technology, there are also celebrities who have a distrust of Facebook, such as Brian Acton, co-founder of WhatsApp, the instant messaging platform it bought.
Recently, other celebrities have taken aim at Facebook. “I believe that Trump and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg realize that their interests are in line – the president’s goal is to win elections, and Zuckerberg’s goal is to make money,” George Soros, a billionaire philanthropist, wrote for the New York Times last week. Facebook, Soros wrote, “follows only one guiding principle: recklessly maximizing profits.”
In a speech last November, British actor Sacha Baron Cohen called the big online platform “the greatest propaganda machine in history” and praised Twitter and Google for taking steps to tackle fake political ads while urging Facebook to change course, according to the Washington Post.
Facebook, he said, would even “help you pinpoint these lies to their users for maximum results.” He suggested that if Facebook existed in the 1930s, it might have fuelled Adolf Hitler’ power.