Published: Tue, October 15, 2019

Elizabeth Warren Facebook ad mocks Facebook's fact checking policies

Elizabeth Warren Facebook ad mocks Facebook's fact checking policies

In a new stunt, she is aiming to expose Facebook's policy on allowing lies in political ads, by lying in an ad published on the platform.

Facebook suddenly started allowing political campaigns to lie in ads over the past week, and U.S. presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has taken them to task over it.

The 2020 hopeful announced Saturday that her campaign submitted an ad that claimed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg endorsed Trump's re-election.

This policy "seems like a troubling compromise because it's an invitation to political actors to say whatever they think is expedient whether it's true or not", said Paul Barrett, deputy director of the Stern Center for Business and Human Rights at New York University and author of a report on "Disinformation and the 2020 Election". "But Facebook just cashes Trump's checks", while also claiming the site "already helped elect Donald Trump once". "Theya?ve chose to let political figures lie to youa " even about Facebook itselfa " while their executives and their investors get even richer off the ads containing these lies", Warren commented on Twitter. And so the ad stays up. She explained that the ad was a test of how much a politician can lie on Facebook "to see just how far" the policy goes. It got approved quickly and the ad is now running on Facebook.

As writer Judd Legum pointed out on Twitter, Facebook strictly prohibited "deceptive, false, or misleading" content in ads on the platform up until September of this year when they removed that wording from their ads policy. Elizabeth Warren seeks to put the social media giant on the defensive - by telling a lie.

She alleged that as these companies grew larger and more powerful, "they... used their resources and control over the way we use the internet to squash small businesses and innovation, and substitute their own financial interests for the broader interests of the American people".

The Warren campaign ads, some of which feature a photo of Zuckerberg and President Trump together, link to a petition supporting her plan to break up major tech companies such as Facebook, Alphabet Inc's Google and Inc, on antitrust grounds. "It's time to hold Mark Zuckerberg accountable", she said.

In a statement Friday responding to Warren's ad, Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone said the company believes political speech should be protected.

Earlier this week, Facebook told Joe Biden's presidential campaign that it wouldn't remove an ad by Trump's reelection campaign despite assertions that the ad contains misinformation about Biden.

In ablog post this March, Warren claimed she wants to make "big, structural changes to the tech sector to promote more competition".

In a statement provided to Fox News, Facebook defended its stance on not censoring political speech.

"Does that still suck for us?"

This month, Warren's campaign also sent an email seeking donations with the subject line "re: Mark Zuckerberg".

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