Elizabeth Warren has made regulating Facebook a big part of her 2020 election campaign. The company has been accused of not doing enough to remove false information and ads. Facebook recently refused to pull down a Trump campaign ad that featured false information about Joe Biden.
To show just how easy it is for politicians to post misleading information on the site, Warren recently purchased an ad of her own. The post, which says that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has endorsed Donald Trump, went live on the site with no issues.
On her Twitter account, Warren explained, “Facebook changed their ads policy to allow politicians to run ads with known lies—explicitly turning the platform into a disinformation-for-profit machine. This week, we decided to see just how far it goes.”
Warren’s fake ad claimed, “Breaking news: Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook just endorsed Donald Trump for re-election. You’re probably shocked and you might be thinking, ‘how could this possibly be true?'” The spot continued, “Well it’s not. (Sorry.) But 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.”
We intentionally made a Facebook ad with false claims and submitted it to Facebook’s ad platform to see if it’d be approved. It got approved quickly and the ad is now running on Facebook. Take a look: pic.twitter.com/7NQyThWHgO
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) October 12, 2019
The move by Warren put Facebook in the position of either having to remove her post or keep a knowingly false statement on their platform. The company has already made their decision. Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone said, “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.”
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey-based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com, and PoliticusUSA. An avid pet lover, he has been known to contribute to Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology, and spending time at the shore with his family.