Star Wars actor Mark Hamill quits Facebook over political adverts

Mark Hamill at the Star Wars "The Rise of Skywalker" premier on December 16.
Mark Hamill at the Star Wars "The Rise of Skywalker" premier on December 16. Copyright  (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)Jordan Strauss
By Seana Davis
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He's not the only celebrity to have attacked the social media giant, Sacha Baron Cohen took aim last year.


Actor Mark Hamill has become the latest to wade in on the political advertising debate - criticising Facebook for its policies.

The actor, who played Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars franchise, took to Twitter saying that he had deleted his Facebook account due to his concerns.

Hamill said that the company "values profit more than truthfulness", adding that he would "sleep better at night" after deleting his account.

Hamill joins the likes of Sacha Baron Cohen in taking aim at Facebook

Hamill has added his name to a list of others who have publically criticised Facebook - with Sacha Baron Cohen, the comedian, taking aim at the social media company in a speech in November.

Baron Cohen called Facebook the "greatest propaganda machine in history" and has continued to criticise the company via his personal Twitter account.

What are Facebook's policies?

Facebook differs from other social media giants when it comes to political advertising. In 2019, Twitter announced that it would ban political adverts from its platform.

Meanwhile, Google waded in on the debate in November, detailing their plan to fact-check "demonstrably false" claims, whilst also announcing that they would no longer allow microtargeting of adverts.

Despite pressure from high profile figures and contrasting moves made by other social media companies, Facebook has remained resilient in their hands-off strategy.

In a blog posted on January 9th, the company promoted plans to provide more transparency but remained firm on its stance of allowing such advertisements.

"While Twitter has chosen to block political ads and Google has chosen to limit the targeting of political ads, we are choosing to expand transparency and give more controls to people when it comes to political ads," Rob Leathern, Facebook's Director of Product Management said in the statement.

Should it be up to governments to regulate rather than social media companies?

Facebook has consistently called on governments to provide regulation when it comes to nuanced debates such as political advertising.

The company has previously stated that it should not be up to corporations to hinder political speech.

Zuckerberg published his plans for 2020 in a post on Facebook, within it calling for increased regulation.

"It's rare that there's ever a clear 'right' answer, and in many cases, it's as important that the decisions are made in a way that feels legitimate to the community.

From this perspective, I don't think private companies should be making so many important decisions that touch on fundamental democratic values," he said.

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