Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

More than 250 Facebook employees have signed a letter protesting the company's policy allowing politicians to buy ads that make false statements, the New York Times' Mike Isaac reports.

Why it matters: As the 2020 election looms, critics fear the company's policies and security measures are insufficient to prevent a repeat of 2016 — when misinformation, some directed from overseas, ran rampant on the social network. Facebook's leadership has defended its policy as a protection of free speech in a democracy, even as politicians push the policy's boundaries to try to expose its flaws.

What they're saying:

"Free speech and paid speech are not the same thing. Misinformation affects us all. Our current policies on fact checking people in political office, or those running for office, are a threat to what FB stands for. We strongly object to this policy as it stands. It doesn’t protect voices, but instead allows politicians to weaponize our platform by targeting people who believe that content posted by political figures is trustworthy."
— Facebook employees' letter
Facebook’s culture is built on openness so we appreciate our employees voicing their thoughts on this important topic. We remain committed to not censoring political speech, and will continue exploring additional steps we can take to bring increased transparency to political ads.
— Facebook spokesperson Bertie Thomson

Read the letter.

Go deeper: Facebook gives politicians a free pass to lie

Editor's note: This story has been updated with comment from Facebook.

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California to independently review FDA-approved coronavirus vaccines

California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California will "independently review" all coronavirus vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration before allowing their distribution, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced at a news conference Monday.

Why it matters: The move that comes days after NAID director Anthony Fauci said he had "strong confidence" in FDA-approved vaccines could cast further public doubt that the federal government could release a vaccine based on political motives, rather than safety and efficacy.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Politics: Trump says if Biden's elected, "he'll listen to the scientists"Trump calls Fauci a "disaster" on campaign call.
  2. Health: Coronavirus hospitalizations are on the rise — 8 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week.
  3. States: Wisconsin judge reimposes capacity limit on indoor venues.
  4. Media: Trump attacks CNN as "dumb b*stards" for continuing to cover pandemic.
  5. Business: Consumer confidence surveys show Americans are getting nervousHow China's economy bounced back from coronavirus.
  6. Sports: We've entered the era of limited fan attendance.
  7. Education: Why education technology can’t save remote learning.
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Microphones will be muted during parts of Thursday's presidential debate

Photos: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Commission on Presidential Debates adopted new measures on Monday to mute the microphones of President Trump and Joe Biden to allow each candidate two minutes of uninterrupted time per segment during Thursday night's debate.

Why it matters: During September's chaotic debate, Trump interrupted Biden 71 times, while Biden interrupted Trump 22 times.