Warren trolls Facebook by running campaign ads that lie about Mark Zuckerberg

This morning I posted that Facebook and Twitter have taken the position that they will accept political ads that contain lies because they don't feel it's in their best interest to fact check claims made in the ads.

Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren put Facebook to the test by running an ad on Facebook falsely claiming that Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg have publicly announced their endorsement of Trump for president. Facebook said it will let the ad run. “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,” Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone told CNN.

"Either Facebook doesn't touch the ad and the ad is therefore noteworthy, or they touch the ad and it's noteworthy," Dave Karpf, an associate professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University, told CNN. "It's a smart tactical move."

From CNN:

Warren has become one of Facebook's key antagonists after first calling for it and other Silicon Valley giants — such as Amazon, Google and Apple — to be broken up. But her rift with Facebook deepened after leaked audio published by The Verge revealed Zuckerberg fretting about the potential consequences of a Warren presidency.

"If she gets elected president, then I would bet that we will have a legal challenge, and I would bet that we will win the legal challenge," Zuckerberg is heard saying at a companywide meeting. "And does that still suck for us?

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Facebook and Twitter say they will allow candidates to pay them to be able to lie about opponents

Trump has been buying ads with false content that run on Facebook and Twitter, and the two social media platforms both say they will continue to accept paid ads that contain lies.

From Technology Review:

Last month, Facebook communications chief Nick Clegg said Facebook will not fact-check politicians’ ads, a stance the company has reiterated. In a letter to Biden’s campaign, Facebook’s head of global elections policy, Katie Harbath, said that “if a claim is made directly by a politician on their Page, in an ad or on their website, it is considered direct speech and ineligible for our third-party fact checking program.”

The letter goes on to say: “These policies apply to organic and paid content from politicians—including the ad by President Trump you reference in your letter.”

In other words, even if the content is false, the fact that it is being said by a politician, or a campaign on the politician’s behalf, means it is considered newsworthy, making it exempt from certain standards. (Facebook says that things like viral hoaxes that are shared by a politician would be demoted, displayed alongside fact-checking information, and banned from ads.) This disparity in the policy is confusing, to say the least.

Meanwhile, Twitter told The Verge that the ad is “not in violation of our policies,” without clarifying further.

Image: Mark Zuckerberg by Anthony Quintano, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) / Jack Dorsey by JD Lasica, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0). Read the rest