Snapchat fact-checks political ads, unlike Facebook, says CEO Evan Spiegel

Key Points
  • Snapchat has a team dedicated to fact-checking all political advertising on the platform.
  • Snap's policy represents a middle ground in a debate that has been largely defined by extremes as Facebook pushes for no regulation and Twitter grapples with removing political ads altogether.
Evan Spiegel, co-founder and chief executive officer of Snap Inc., speaks during the New Work Summit in Half Moon Bay, California, U.S., on Monday, Feb. 25, 2019.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

As pressure mounts on Big Tech companies to address the spread of misinformation, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel said Monday that his company fact-checks all political advertising.

Snap's advertising competitors such as Facebook, Twitter and Google have come under fire in recent months over their policies on misleading political advertising.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has defended Facebook's decision not to fact-check political advertising, and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey decided to ban all political advertising, though the company is now struggling to define what actually qualifies as a political advertisement. Google, which also owns YouTube, has remained quiet on the matter.

In contrast, Snapchat has a team to fact-check all political advertising on the platform, Spiegel says.

"We subject all advertising to review, including political advertising," he said Monday. "And I think what we try to do is create a place for political ads on our platform, especially because we reach so many young people and first-time voters we want them to be able to engage with the political conversation, but we don't allow things like misinformation to appear in that advertising."

He compared Snap's policy on political ads to cable TV. "That might be more similar to cable rather than broadcast," he said.

Under Federal Communications Commission rules, broadcast television stations cannot censor certain political advertisements based on accuracy concerns. Cable television networks are not bound by the same federal policies.

Snapchat's advertising business is substantially smaller than that of Facebook and Google, but the photo-sharing business experienced 50% growth in advertising during the third-quarter this year to $446 million.

Correction: Due to an editing error, a previous version of this story misspelled Snap CEO Evan Spiegel's name.