WHAT: Carolyn Everson, VP Global Marketing Solutions for Facebook, joins Shelly and Ross on episode 3 of Think About This with Shelly Palmer and Ross Martin on Westwood One Podcast Network to talk about the personal and corporate responsibility of the under-fire behemoth social media platform. Throughout the “The Not Our Fault Episode,” Shelly and Ross grill Carolyn on why Facebook runs false political ads and if Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is responsible for political outcomes. Here are some of Carolyn’s comments from the conversation:
On Facebook’s approach to monitoring political advertising:
6:38 – “For decades political advertising has not been monitored. The FCC has made it very clear by law that broadcasters are not allowed to censor or change political advertising, and we have chosen to follow that, even though we are not required to do so by the FCC – as have all of the other platforms because we think it’s very dangerous for a tech company, a CEO, or any private or public company to determine what is true and what is false.”
On running an ad from Elizabeth Warren that said Facebook endorsed President Trump for the 2020 election, in response to Facebook running a fake ad about Joe Biden:
7:48 – “That I can tell you is categorically false, Mark has said that he has not endorsed Trump, he has not endorsed anybody for the election, but if you’re going to run the one ad, you’re going to run the other ad, because it is a principle of allowing political ads to run and not be the arbiter of truth.”
On Facebook being so much larger than TV networks, newsrooms, and other social platforms, therefore not similar enough to follow the same FCC standards:
10:11 – “I think that is precisely why Mark has asked for more regulation in these areas. He’s asked for more regulation around privacy, data portability, content, what kind of content is allowed and should be allowed on platforms, and election integrity.”
On why Facebook takes political advertising, despite all of the controversies:
10:54 – “We certainly don’t need to take political advertising, and it is not an economic decision, I can assure you as someone that is very responsible for the revenue of the company. In many ways I would argue that it could hurt us more that we take political advertising because we have a lot of people, you know we have employees obviously that have some concerns, and so, on one hand, it would be the easy decision to just say stop taking it, but like with anything, you have to say, ok but what are the consequences of that decision. And unfortunately, the consequences are that typically incumbents, or people with more money, more access to media and power will do better in a world where they don’t have access to Facebook advertising. It is the smaller, city elections, the mayoral candidates, countries around the world where candidates don’t have the resources that some of our candidates here in the US do that depend on our platform to reach their constituents, and we have seen that be incredibly important.”
On one business leader, like Mark Zuckerberg, having so much power:
19:35 – “He’s asking for help. He’s been asking for help from the regulatory environment, he instituted the oversight board. Mark does not believe that Facebook should be making decisions that are global and consequential in nature around content, around privacy, election integrity, and data portability.”
WHO: Carolyn Everson leads Facebook’s relationships with top marketers and agencies across the globe. She oversees a team of regional leaders, and the teams focused on global partnerships, global agencies, and Facebook’s Creative Shop. Prior to Facebook, Carolyn was the Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s Global Advertising Sales and Trade Marketing Teams and spent seven years at MTV Networks.
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