Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg Says That Political Ads Are ‘Not For The Money’

By Annie Baker ● October 23, 2019
  • Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said that the company is allowing political advertising for more reasons than just the revenue

At Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said that it is allowing political advertising for more reasons than just revenue. Facebook believes that political ads are part of the debate.

“It’s not for the money, let’s start there,” said Sandberg at the event via CNET. “This is a very small part of our revenue … It’s very small, very small. And it is very controversial. We’re not doing this for the money.”

Facebook has been heavily criticized for being manipulated to swing elections in certain directions by Senator Elizabeth Warren, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, and even Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes. Plus Facebook has lost a lot of user trust due to the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

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“We take political ads because we really believe they are part of political discourse,” added Sandberg. “If you look at this over time, the people who have the most benefited from being able to run ads are people who are not covered by the media so they can’t get their message out.”

At the event, Sandberg also dismissed the notion that Facebook reinforces the worldview of individual users’ worldview. Sandberg said that 26% of the news that a user sees on the social network is “from another point of view.”

Last week, Sandberg had announced that she is donating $2.5 million to the Anti-Defamation League in order to combat hate. The donation is being made in honor of Sandberg’s parents’ 75th birthday.