Democratic presidential candidate Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren attends the SEIU’s Unions for All summit in Los Angeles, California, U.S. October 4, 2019.
Eric Thayer | Reuters
Elizabeth Warren is purchasing advertisements on Facebook that falsely assert Mark Zuckerberg has supported President Donald Trump, in a deliberate ploy that targets Facebook’s controversial decision to permit politicians to make false claims in paid advertisements.
The Democratic presidential candidate’s campaign sponsored the articles that began to spread across social media on Thursday.
“Breaking news: Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook just endorsed Donald Trump for re-election,” the ads reads.
While the statement is not accurate, Facebook’s policy exempts advertisements by politicians from third party fact-checking. Including Warren’s trolling ad, which contains a disclaimer that says the content is not correct.
On Sept. 24, the company announced it wouldn’t fact check or eliminate content by politicians, even though it violates the firm’s rules. Facebook’s vice president of international affairs and communications Nick Clegg wrote in a statement of this coverage that “It is not our role to intervene when politicians speak.”
Facebook’s coverage has attracted intense scrutiny after the firm said it would enable Trump’s re-election effort to run an advertisement with false claims about former Vice President Joe Biden and his son. The ad was rejected by CNN for creating a “demonstrably false” story about Biden.
Warren asserts that Facebook is accepting cash from and assisting Trump’s re-election campaign, regardless of the lies at the campaign’s advertising.
“Facebook already helped elect Donald Trump once,” Warren’s ad stated. “Now, they’re deliberately allowing a candidate to intentionally lie to the American people. It’s time to hold Mark Zuckerberg accountable.”
In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson stated 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.”
The Massachusetts senator, who has risen towards the top of national polls in the Democratic presidential primary, has driven for antitrust actions against leading technology companies, and has stated that Facebook should be divided into smaller companies.
weekly, in leaked transcripts of a July meeting at Facebook, Zuckerberg told employees that if Warren becomes president, “then I would bet that we will have a legal challenge, and I would bet that we will win the legal challenge.”
“But look, at the end of the day, if someone’s going to try to threaten something that existential, you go to the mat and you fight,” Zuckerberg said.
Warren reacted to Zuckerberg’s remarks at a tweet Tuesday morning, saying firms like Facebook participate in’anticompetitive practices’
“What would really ‘suck’ is if we don’t fix a corrupt system that lets giant companies like Facebook engage in illegal anticompetitive practices, stomp on consumer privacy rights, and repeatedly fumble their responsibility to protect our democracy,” Warren tweeted.