Warren ran Ad with fake news to tell Facebook to stop allowing politicians to post misinformation

Photo: Edward Kimmel | Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

2020 Presidential hopeful, Elizabeth Warren, touts Facebook by running an ad that contains fake news in order to prove a point against the tech giant and to protest its decision not to take down an ad paid for by the Trump campaign team discrediting another Democrat presidential candidate. 

Warren bought ads across the social media platform in the past week that purposely include fake news about a supposed endorsement of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg of Trump’s 2020 re-election. The ad intends to pressure Facebook to remove and disallow ads that proliferate fake news and misinformation ahead of the 2020 presidential elections. 

Since Thursday last week, the team of Warren has been placing a “Breaking News” ad, which preceded a supposed report of Zuckerberg backing Trump’ sTrump’s campaign for 2020. 

“You’re probably shocked, and you might be thinking, ‘how could this possibly be true?’ Well, it’s not,” the ad reads. 

Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook have not announced any support to the campaign of Donal Trump in the past. Warren, through her official Twitter account, said that she and her team deliberately placed the ad on Facebook as part of her call against Facebook’s decision to not remove political ads on its platform even if the ad contains fake news. 

“Facebook changed its 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 said on Twitter. 

The Democrat presidential candidate may be referring to the ad run by Trump’ sTrump’s team, which accuses Joseph R. Biden Jr., another Democrat presidential candidate of corruption in Ukraine. According to the ad, Biden has offered $1 billion to Ukrainian officials to remove a prosecutor who was handling the investigation of a company associated with his son, Hunter Biden. 

Facebook has refused to remove the ad pursuant to its recent change in policy where the social media network would not remove posts made by politicians because they are a matter of national interest, and they are newsworthy. The ad against Biden has now been seen by more than five million users. 

Facebook justifies this move as part of their commitment to free expression and that it is aimed to prevent external interference in what is otherwise an organic discussion that is taking place in its social media network. 

In a statement made by Facebook’s VP of Global Affairs and Communications Nick Clegg in the past, the decision was “grounded in Facebook’s Facebook’s fundamental belief in free expression and respect for the democratic process, as well as the fact that in mature democracies with a free press, political speech is already arguably the most scrutinized speech there is.”

“Today, I announced that from now on, we would treat speech from politicians as newsworthy content that should, as a general rule, be seen and heard. However, in keeping with the principle that we apply different standards to content for which we receive payment, this will not apply to ads – if someone chooses to post an ad on Facebook, they must still fall within our Community Standards and our advertising policies,” Clegg added.

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