Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Public Citizen is demanding Facebook take more action to control misinformation on the platform.

Public Citizen is demanding Facebook take more action to control misinformation on the platform. (Photo: flickr/GostGo/cc)

Facebook Under Fire After Its Response to Coronavirus Misinformation Makes Clear Company Could Do More to Combat Political Lies

"It's not about free speech. It's about money."

Eoin Higgins

Advocacy group Public Citizen is calling on social media giant Facebook to take the same action against political misinformation it has to lies about the coronavirus on the platform.

"Facebook makes the high-minded claim that it's protecting free speech by doing little about political misinformation," said the group. "What it's really doing is pandering to powerful political interests, particularly those with deep pockets, at the expense of the long-term health of the company and our democracy."

As Common Dreams reported Tuesday, Facebook is under fire for reports that company executives knowingly ignored warnings that its algorithm incites divisiveness as an engagement tool and refused to take action. 

"Facebook knows what it's doing, intentionally continues to cause harm to increase engagement and profit, and will never fix these problems themselves," said the group Freedom From Facebook and Google in response to the revelations. 

Public Citizen's call echoed those accusations of the company's complicity. 

"Facebook is a corporation that rakes in enormous profit selling ads," the group said. "Therefore, what types of ads are being sold, how they are performing, who is seeing them, who is paying for them, and what information silos they create for other ad revenue are all important to Facebook."

The group called on Facebook shareholders to hold the company accountable and demand that the platform make more clear which political ads are based in lies and misinformation. 

"When corporations have outsized influence over our elections, democracies lose," said Public Citizen. "Facebook should be in the business of promoting honest, robust civic discourse for the benefit of its users, shareholders, and democracies the world over."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

One Year In, Biden Fails to Boost C- Grade on Environment

The Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund assessment indicates the administration's action to deliver on environmental promises "desperately needs improvement."

Jessica Corbett ·


'A No-Brainer': Lawmakers Urge Pelosi to Hold Vote on Stock Trading Ban

"Perhaps this means some of our colleagues will miss out on lucrative investment opportunities," said House members in a bipartisan letter. "We don't care."

Jessica Corbett ·


Virginia Schools Sue Youngkin Mandate Making Masks Optional

The Republican governor wants to allow parents to decide whether their children should wear masks to school to mitigate Covid-19 transmission—guidance at least 58 school districts have no plans to follow.

Julia Conley ·


US Puts Troops on Standby as War Tensions Over Ukraine Mount

The U.K. threatens "lightning war" as military forces mobilize in eastern Europe.

Andrea Germanos ·


Advocacy Group Urges Pfizer to Combat Paxlovid Inequality

"Help end the pandemic this year around the world," one advocate told Pfizer. "Not just in a handful of rich countries."

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo