Published: Tue, October 15, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Warren campaign challenges Facebook ad policy with 'false' Zuckerberg ad

Warren campaign challenges Facebook ad policy with 'false' Zuckerberg ad

Warren's advert was focused at a Fb coverage that exempts advertisements by politicians from third-party fact-checking.

2020 candidate Elizabeth Warren has expressed her ire for big tech companies in the past, most recently amid reports that Facebook allows President Donald Trump to lie in ads.

After admitting that's not true, the ad states "If Trump tries to lie in a TV ad, most networks will refuse to air it".

The post immediately clarified that it was untrue, adding "What Zuckerberg *has* done is given Donald Trump free rein to lie on his platform - and then to pay Facebook gobs of money to push out their lies to American voters". But Factcheck.org noted that while Biden did threaten to withhold USA money from Ukraine, there's no evidence he did this to help his son, which is what the Facebook ad implied.

In a statement Friday responding to Warren's ad, Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone said the company believes political speech should be protected. She said numerous ads Facebook approves are ones TV stations won't even air. That could include links, photos or videos created by others.

On Twitter, Warren accused Facebook of abdicating any responsibility to battle misinformation in the interest of profit.

Gaurav Laroia of the watchdog group Free Press said exceptions allowed by Facebook means the company "is allowing its platform to be a vector for misinformation in the lead-up to the 2020 election".

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Facebook and Twitter have both steered away from removing "newsworthy" content which may include false or misleading comments from political leaders. Facebook has faced particular wrath from conservatives, who have said the social network intentionally suppresses what they say.

On the assembly, Zuckerberg informed workers that if Warren grew to become President, "I would bet that we will have a legal challenge, and I would bet that we will win the legal challenge".

"Facebook already helped elect Donald Trump once", the ad declares. "They've made a decision to let political figures lie to you - even about Facebook itself - while their executives and their investors get even richer off the ads containing these lies", Warren said in a tweet thread.

"Today's big tech companies have too much power - too much power over our economy, our society, and our democracy", Warren said in a statement.

Warren, in particular, has taken aim at the social media giant, vowing to break up the company and combat its allegedly anti-competitive practices. "Now, they've changed their policy so they can profit from lies to the American people", she said before linking to a petition calling for Zuckerberg to be held "accountable". "And does that still suck for us?" Lee Goodman, a former Republican chairman of the Federal Elections Commission, told CNBC Thursday that he believed Facebook's policy is "fair" because it "doesn't want to be the arbiter and doesn't want to take sides in these political debates".

"The limits of what our political discourse is these days is, of course, largely shaped by these platforms where a lot of these politics happen", she said.

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