Only Hollywood can so fantastically misunderstand a free speech policy and protest its existence.
Actor Mark Hamill (Star Wars) announced on Twitter that he was deleting his Facebook account in order to take a stand against the policies that the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended. He added a link to a New York Times piece that announced that Facebook “would not police the truthfulness of the messages sent out.” Hamill announced that he was “disappointed” that Zuckerberg “values profit more than truthfulness.”
The Times pitted Facebook as stuck between “liberal critics” who want the company to “do a better job of policing its various social media platforms” and conservatives who “say their views are being unfairly muzzled.”
Hamill ended his tweet with a hashtag, “#PatriotismOverProfits.” Hilariously, he tweeted an emoji that appears Hamill meant to be an American flag, but instead was the Malaysian flag. Hamill tweeted again in response to correct his apparent mistake.
Others responded to Hamill, including content producer Mike P. Williams, who said, “Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook are trash. Dishonest, Nazi-appeasing, propaganda-peddling wastemen.”
At the time this piece was published, Hamill still maintained an active presence on Instagram, which is one of Facebook’s companies. He has 4.8 million followers on the platform.
Facebook has argued that “we don’t think decisions about political ads should be made by private companies.” In the Jan. 9 blog post confirming the decision, Director of Product Management Rob Leathern said, “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.”
But liberals, both in Hollywood and in politics, have complained that Facebook’s hands-off approach to political advertising was “how democracies die!” Actor Sacha Baron Cohen blasted the company for being “the greatest propaganda machine in history.”