Warren runs a false Facebook ad to protest false Facebook ads

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren speaks to supporters during a campaign stop and town hall at Toad Hill Farm in Franconia New Hampshire overlooking the White Mountains

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren's Democratic presidential campaign this week challenged Facebook's policy that exempts politicians' ads from fact-checking, by running ads on the social media platform containing the false claim that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg endorsed President Donald Trump's re-election bid.

Posting an ad with a demonstrable falsehood, she aims to highlight Facebook's dubious new policy. "But Facebook just cashes Trump's checks".

"Facebook changed their ads policy to allow politicians to run ads with known lies-explicitly turning the platform into a disinformation-for-profit machine", Warren asserted. He also described her antitrust proposal as an "existential" threat and said it would "suck for us". Facebook formally put the policy in place last September, ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. According to Facebook's ad library, the first paid post went up Thursday and more than a dozen identical ones followed Friday, each garnering tens of thousands of impressions.

Warren, who campaigns on breaking up big tech companies like Facebook and Google because they have an outsized influence, tweeted on Saturday that the fake ad was created to see "just how far" Facebook's policy would let her campaign go.

The Washington Post article which Warren shared explains that "as Facebook cracked down on disinformation flooding its social media platforms, executives chose to codify a key loophole: Politicians remained free to lie at will-unbound by the rules created to stop everyday users from peddling viral falsehoods".

The exemption has drawn particular attention due to Facebook's decision to allow Trump to run an ad that was rejected by CNN for promoting a "demonstrably false" narrative about Joe Biden. In a statement Friday responding to Warren's ad, Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone told CNN that "if Senator Warren wants to say things she knows to be untrue, we believe Facebook should not be in the position of censoring that speech".

Warren's stunt came as Facebook faced criticism from conservatives and progressives alike.

"Our approach is grounded in Facebook's fundamental belief in free expression, respect for the democratic process, and the belief that, in mature democracies with a free press, political speech is already arguably the most scrutinized speech there is", the New York Times reports Facebook's head of global elections policy, Katie Harbath, wrote in the letter to the Biden campaign. In March, Facebook took down ads from her campaign that called for the company to be broken up, but later restored them.

In leaked audio obtained by The Verge, Zuckerberg said at a recent internal meeting that, should Warren seek to implement these plans, Facebook would "go to the mat and fight".

Related:

Comments

Latest news

Brexit: 'Mood music' positive for talks, Nicky Morgan says
Speaking in Cyprus on Friday, European Council President Donald Tusk said he had received "promising signals" from the Irish PM . He said: "It can not work because Northern Ireland has to remain fully part of the United Kingdom customs union".

Police respond to reports of shooting at New Hampshire church
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu said that state officials are on scene assisting local first responders with the incident. It is located between two larger cities, Nashua to the west and Salem to the east, and also borders MA to the south.

EU, Britain to intensify talks on a Brexit deal
He said that "even the slightest chance must be used" to get a deal. "It has taken one year, even three years, and we don't really get it", she said.

One confirmed fatality in hotel collapse, officials evacuating nearby buildings
At least one person is dead and several people are unaccounted for, according to Louisiana State Governor John Bel Edwards. A number of building staff were working on the construction site, with the numbers still being accounted for.

Celebrities Who Suffer With Chronic Diseases
Now if that isn’t the epitome of what a BFF is, I don’t know what is! Selena continues to be on chronic medication. There is also a huge list of celebrities past like famous painter vincent Van Gogh who suffered with this disease.

Other news