Elizabeth Warren bought fake ads on Facebook to highlight Facebook’s fake ads

Cornelia Mascio
Ottobre 12, 2019

U.S. presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has paid for a series of Facebook adverts with false claims about chief executive Mark Zuckerberg - shining a light on the platform's decision to allow politicians to make false statements in paid adverts.

The social media site has refused to take down the ads.

She told her 3.3 million Twitter followers: "Facebook holds incredible power to affect elections and our national debate".

"If Trump tries to lie in a TV ad, most networks will refuse to air it", the ad says.

Facebook's decision to both allow and publicize Trump's ad contrasts with CNN, which rejected a request by the president's campaign to run what the network called two "demonstrably false" claims.

Last week, leaked transcripts of a July meeting at Facebook revealed that Zuckerberg had promised to "go to the mat" and "fight" if Warren was elected and pursued her plan to break the company up.

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. "But Facebook just cashes Trump's checks". "Now, they're deliberately allowing a candidate to intentionally lie to the American people".

"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", Andy Stone, a spokesman for Facebook, said in a statement to CNN on the ads.

The guideline reads: "Except as other-wise indicated in § 73.1944, no station licensee is required to permit the use of its facilities by any legally qualified candidate for public office, but if any licensee shall permit any such candidate to use its facilities, it shall afford equal opportunities to all other candidates for that office to use such facilities".

"This decision, put into place past year, has sparked a sharp backlash this week among Democrats, who complain that it gives President Trump free rein to use major social media platforms as disinformation machines", the Post notes, referencing Warren's ad as well as former Vice President Joe Biden's recent request that Facebook remove a dishonest Trump campaign ad.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is a top contender in the Democratic Party's presidential primary, is challenging a key policy from Facebook, one of the largest purveyors of electoral information in the country.

This isn't the first time Warren has used Facebook's own platform to make a political point.

Progressives, like Warren, have warned that Facebook could easily be leveraged to help Republicans win re-election. A long-running argument by Democrats is that Russian Federation used Facebook to help Trump win the 2016 election.

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