In Brief

Why has Stephen King quit Facebook?

Horror author protests social network's policy on political ads

Stephen King has quit Facebook in protest at the “flood of false information allowed in its political advertising”.

Explaining his decision, the horror novelist said he also lacked confidence in Facebook’s ability to protect privacy.

King, who is described by The Guardian as a “prolific user of social media”, wrote on Twitter: “I'm quitting Facebook. Not comfortable with the flood of false information that's allowed in its political advertising, nor am I confident in its ability to protect its users' privacy.”

CNN reports that King “is politically active and very outspoken, especially regarding his views on US President Donald Trump”.

“And when it comes to Facebook, King isn't much of a fan of it either,” the broadcaster adds.

In recent months, Facebook has come in for increased criticism for refusing to ban paid political adverts. Its social media rival, Twitter, announced last October that it would usher in such a ban, with CEO Jack Dorsey saying that he was taking the move because “political message reach should be earned, not bought”.

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On the same day that King told his 5.6m Twitter followers that he was quiting Facebook, its owner Mark Zuckerberg appeared at the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit in Utah.

In a speech declaring that the social media giant would stand up for free speech, Zuckerberg said that his approach was “going to piss off a lot of people”, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.

“Increasingly we're getting called [on] to censor a lot of different kinds of content that makes me really uncomfortable,” the paper quotes him as saying. 

“It kind of feels like the list of things that you’re not allowed to say socially keeps on growing... And I’m not really OK with that.”

Last October, Zuckerberg struck a similar chord when The Washington Post reported him as saying: “I don't think most people want to live in a world where you can only post things that tech companies judge to be 100% true.”

Despite refusing to pull political adverts all-together, the company did promise to strengthen safeguards around paid-for political posts ahead of the 2019 European elections.

The move was as part of an effort to prevent foreign interference in elections.

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