Facebook’s supposed crack down on fake political news is apparently only for conservatives. Liberals who want to skirt the ‘fact-checking’ process are given free reign.
A misleading ad created by a California candidate shows Mitch McConnell ‘supporting’ impeachment, which is a bold-faced lie. However, the social media giant refuses to remove it.
Facebook will not unilaterally remove a misleading ad created by a California gubernatorial candidate who is challenging the company’s fact-checking policies by claiming that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., supports the impeachment of President Trump, Fox News has confirmed.
Titled “#ThanksMitch,” the ad by Adriel Hampton shows a series of spliced clips falsely indicating that McConnell backs the process that would prompt a Senate trial to determine whether Trump should be removed from office. McConnell has vowed to quash a removal effort and has also fiercely condemned Democratic attempts to impeach Trump.
In a statement to Fox News, Facebook didn’t say it would remove the ad. Instead, it said that unlike other candidates, Hampton’s ads would be subject to third-party fact-checking because he deliberately registered as a candidate in order to skirt its fact-checking policies.
“This person has made clear he registered as a candidate to get around our policies, so his content, including ads, will continue to be eligible for third-party fact-checking,” a Facebook spokesperson said. When asked why the social media giant couldn’t just remove the ad itself, the company didn’t immediately respond.
“So bizarre that Facebook tells reporters that third-party fact checkers [sic] can flag my false ads,” Hampton responded on Twitter. “But Facebook’s official policy for those fact checkers [sic] tells them ‘hands off’ [sic] of ads by political parties and politicians. Facebook has lost the plot.”
“It is a massive problem that Trump can spend hundreds of millions of dollars on Facebook,’ Hampton said in a statement posted to Facebook. ‘You add that to the fact that his ability to micro-target ads to reach influenceable groups of people with different messages. This is absolutely weaponized lying.’”
McConnell’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Facebook’s fact-checking policy has come under intense scrutiny from politicians like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who complain it allows users to spread disinformation.
In a testy confrontation with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during a hearing this past October, the New York congresswoman pressed him on whether white supremacist content would be allowed on the platform. “I mean, If you’re not fact-checking political advertisements, I’m trying to understand the bounds here — what’s fair game,” she said.
Hampton previously ran an ad suggesting that President Trump wanted to replace Vice President Mike Pence with Fox News host Sean Hannity.
When Hampton initially registered as a candidate, he cited concerns about President Trump running false ads. He appeared to be responding to an ad that accused former Vice President Joe Biden of corruption. Facebook refused to remove the ad, prompting a wave of criticism.
Other platforms like YouTube have similarly been criticized for how they filter content. Facebook’s latest refusal will likely encourage even more calls for oversight of Silicon Valley. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., a leading presidential candidate, has called for the government to break up big tech companies like Facebook.
In October, she intentionally submitted a Facebook ad with false claims to expose the platform and similarly warn about Trump’s ads. Facebook approved the ad, although the ad copy itself admitted that it was false.
So we see that it is only conservative information that is censored, apparently democrat candidates are allowed to spew their falsehoods without fear of punishment.