Facebook’s head of advertising integrity Rob Leathern has left the company, he announced in a Twitter thread on Friday. Shortly after President Donald Trump took office, Leathern came onboard and some of the more controversial advertising policies of social media veterans, including elections and misinformation, rolled out during his tenure.
Leathern revealed his decision earlier this month on an internal company network, saying in a post by Reuters that he was “leaving Facebook to act on consumer privacy beyond just ads and social media” And its last day will be 30 December.
As head of Facebook’s product team for business integrity, which oversees the content promoted on the platform, Leathern often served as the public face for the company’s political advertising policies. Due to not doing enough to fight the dissemination of electoral misinformation, these policies have often come under fire in the last few years. In 2018, Facebook codified an audacity to effectively tell politicians about their opponents in campaign ads, and then later tried to claim that they “benefited from political misinformation rather than” political discourse Decided to preserve “.
Recently, the company agreed to temporarily disable political advertisements on its platform, but only after the 2020 presidential vote was closed. In November, Leathern said in a series of tweets that Facebook “lacked the technical capability in the short term to enable political ads by the state or advertisers”, but about a month later the company moved its political ads to Georgia ahead of the state Ban lifted The controversial run-off election will decide on January 5 which party controls the Senate.
In a Twitter thread on Friday evening, Leathern several times called his work on Facebook “difficult and demanding”, but said he was proud of what his colleagues accomplished. He added that his work “makes a huge difference, often in ways that the public does not see (and attracts criticism that comes with a lot of responsibility!)”.
“Despite the extra bubble of uncertainty, the teams I ran or impressed did a great job, including many US election-related work where the effort was the culmination of a huge amount of effort over the years,” he tweeted.
Leathern promised to reveal more details about his next professional venture in the coming weeks, stating that he was “in the tech / data / privacy space”, but would not work directly on commercials.
It is unclear why Leathern partnered with Facebook. He did not offer any explanation in his Twitter thread, which was a “difficult decision”. Facebook did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment on the matter.