How dangerous is a single tech-savvy conservative? Enough to politically divide Silicon Valley itself and get a CEO to rant about the future of “democracy.”
Digital Content Next CEO Jason Kint, in an article-filled tweetstorm about Facebook’s business practices and political advertising, condemned how the social media giant will reportedly make a profit of “$800mil in political ads,” while “being toxic to democracy [and] allowing misleading ads microtargeted at us – thereby refusing to follow their peers’ leadership at Google or Twitter.”
This was posted alongside a photo of an excerpt from a Bloomberg article with the following highlighted: “Facebook is attractive to political campaigns because of its ability to target voters, but has been criticized recently for not fact-checking political ads.”
Kint followed this by blasting entrepreneur and venture capitalist Peter Thiel:
“This is Facebook following the request of board member and Trump advisor, Peter Thiel (according to WSJ) and ignoring open letter from Facebook’s own employees, former election integrity lead (@YaelEisenstat), former CSO (@alexstamos) and FEC Commissioner (@EllenLWeintraub).
What a novel concept. Conservatives and free speech advocates actually having somebody who speaks on behalf of American liberty. Though Kint is hardly the first to call out Thiel so directly.
Kint tweeted a link to The Wall Street Journal’s coverage, “Peter Thiel at Center of Facebook’s Internal Divisions on Politics,” which explained “The reaction to Facebook’s decision on political ads, presented in October by Mr. Zuckerberg as a commitment to free speech, largely broke along party lines.” It added further that “Most Republicans, including members of the Trump reelection campaign, praised the decision, while many Democrats argued the company should do more to potentially limit the spread of misinformation.”
Free speech in itself though, should not be a partisan issue. It is one of the founding values of America and Western Civilization as a whole.
Kint then followed this up by citing an open letter by Facebook employees critical of Facebook’s free speech policies, and stating how he “could list more” individuals warning about the “toxic combo of microtargeting and misleading political ads.”
Kint had also linked to Federal Election Commission Chair Ellen L. Weintraub’s Washington Post opinion piece, “Don’t abolish political ads on social media. Stop microtargeting.” wherein she said that it is not political advertising that is the problem so much as microtargeting. “The microtargeting of political ads may be undermining the united character of our United States” wrote Weintraub.
Kint also linked an opinion piece “I worked on political ads at Facebook. They profit by manipulating us.” by Yael Eisenstat, self-described in her Twitter bio as a “Deep State alum.
She cited that she joined Facebook in June 2018 as the “head of Global Elections Integrity Ops” in the company’s business integrity organization, focused specifically on political advertising.” She accused the platform of now profiting “by amplifying lies and selling dangerous targeting tools that allow political operatives to engage in a new level of information warfare.”