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Op-ed Placement

Mark Zuckerberg Should Tell Washington's Politicians To Mind Their Own Business

Originally Published in Forbes on 10/1/17.

USA Today recently reported on a social media user disturbed that she’d been “bombarded by political ads on Facebook attacking Planned Parenthood and the Affordable Care Act.” Apparently Valerie Robinson feels she should have “more transparency” about what ads enter her Facebook news feed, plus she desires “more due diligence and more care with what’s being disseminated to the public” by the Silicon Valley giant.

What Robinson wants doesn’t square with reality. Facebook is a free service. Robinson’s decision to sign up for what is free in no way entitles her to knowledge about and control of the advertisements sold by the free service. If she feels as though “shadowy foreign interests” buying ads on the social network somehow altered her policy views, then she should quit Facebook altogether. No one charged her to set up a Facebook page, no one forced her to, so if she’s bothered by an income stream that enables the site’s free-of-charge feature, she’s obviously free to close her account.