Elizabeth Warren’s response to Facebook’s refusal to stop running false political ads

A few days ago, as you may have heard, Facebook made the decision to run an ad produced by the Trump campaign which had been proven to be false. While other media companies, like CNN, made the decision not to run the ad, which falsely suggested that Joe Biden, while Vice President of the United States, had offered Ukraine $1 billion in foreign aid in exchange for firing a prosecutor that was investigating a company tied to his son, Facebook made the call to accept nearly $718,000 in ad revenue from the Trump campaign, and run it.

Facebook, when asked to remove the ad by the Biden campaign, pointed to corporate policies, instituted this past September. According to those policies, the company no longer prohibits ads that contain “deceptive, false, or misleading content, including deceptive claims, offers, or methods.” While Facebook does bar ads that have been “debunked by third-party fact checkers” or “organizations with particular expertise,” they said, that does not extend to political advertisements. “Ads from political candidates,” the company says, “are ineligible for fact-checking.”

Well, presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren — taking advantage of this Facebook policy allowing lie-filled political ads — just initiated a campaign of her own on the social media site. The ad calls attention to the fact (not really) that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had officially endorsed Donald Trump in the 2020 race.

Obama administration staffer Ben Rhodes had the following to say about the Warren ad. “This is so smart,” he said. “It’s past time for more scrutiny of how FB puts profit over democracy while hiding behind empty language about openness when it’s a media and advertising platform.

I was hopeful that Facebook, in the wake of what happened in 2016, would put systems in place to ensure that they’d never again be put in a position where their platform was being used to spread disinformation campaigns intended to sew discord in the United States. But, clearly, that’s not going to happen.

It would take me some time to do it, and it wouldn’t be easy, but I’ve almost made up my mind to disentangle my life from Facebook once and for all. I know it’ll mean that I’ll get left out of social things even more often, and probably lose track of what my family members and old friends are up to, but I can no longer be a party to Facebook’s continued refusal to step up, take responsibility, and do the right thing. [If broadcast television networks can find a way not to run false political ads, how can it be that a company that makes $16.6 billion a quarter in ad sales, can’t put systems in place?] And it pains me to say this, not just because I know it’ll make my mother sad to see me disappear from Facebook, but because, by not being on Facebook, I’ll no longer be able to step in when people I know are sharing debunked conspiracy theories about things like Elizabeth Warren’s fondness of male prostitutes and the like, but, at some point, you just have to walk away, and stop being part of the system.

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60 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    I’ve not been on FB for close to 5 years now, and have a lot more time to do other things.

  2. Posted October 12, 2019 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Mark,

    Also, please take all photos of yourself off the Internet, and quick. We may only be weeks away from being hit with Mark Maynard porn.

    From the Hiffington Post:

    Here’s What It’s Like To See Yourself In A Deepfake Porn Video

    https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_5d0d0faee4b0a3941861fced

  3. Sad
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Mayor Pete went to Harvard with Zuckerberg.

    Doesn’t Warren want to destroy all the big tech companies or something?

    Mayor Pete isn’t going to skip the debates.

    Make sure you tune in and cheer him on.

  4. Kit
    Posted October 13, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Warren doesn’t want to destroy all tech companies. She wants to break up companies, like Facebook, that have become so large and powerful that they’ve become a danger to American citizens.

  5. Bob
    Posted October 13, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Isn’t quitting Facebook over this on par with being so disgusted with politics that you stop voting? It seems to me that Warren has the right idea. Stay on and take every opportunity to refute bullshit. Call out friends and family when the post blatantly false information. Fight the fight.

  6. Sad
    Posted October 13, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    I’m with Bob – fight the power- don’t retreat.

    No wonder my relatives don’t like Warren. She wants to get elected and spend her time dismantling successful businesses.

    That doesn’t sound good.

    Mayor Pete wouldn’t do that.

  7. EOS
    Posted October 13, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Does Facebook still allow Warren to claim to be a Native American Indian?

  8. Sad
    Posted October 13, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    I didn’t know Warren was Native American?

    It’s a good thing Mark Maynard provides a platform where important information can get out to the public.

  9. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted October 13, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Orwellian definition of ‘false’

  10. Sad
    Posted October 13, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I was trying to friend you on Facebook HW but I wasn’t sure which Hyborian Warlord was you.

    What do you look like?

    Will you go see Mayor Pete and Trump next October when they have their debate in Ann Arbor?

  11. Jean Henry
    Posted October 13, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    SAD– Mayor Pete is an empty shell who talks a good game. Bernie 2.0. It’s inevitable, when supporting someone who is unclear in his policy positions on just about everything, that their supporters end up repeating hyperbolic fear mongering about the opposition policy positions. When are you going to actually talk about Mayor Pete’s policy positions here instead of attacking others’ with limited and inaccurate information?

  12. Sad
    Posted October 13, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Here’s what Mayor Pete supports.

    Sorry I didn’t mean to insult Warren. She’s OK.

    It just seems a lot of middle of the road people I know think she’s too radical.

  13. Sad
    Posted October 13, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    https://peteforamerica.com/issues/

  14. Posted October 13, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    If you people talk Mark into staying on Facebook and as a result, the world is subjected to deepfake Mark Maynard porn, we will never forgive you.

    From the Hiffington Post:

    Here’s What It’s Like To See Yourself In A Deepfake Porn Video

    https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_5d0d0faee4b0a3941861fced

  15. Sad
    Posted October 13, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    You really like this don’t you iRobert?

  16. Lynne
    Posted October 13, 2019 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    I can’t give up FB. I am an addict!

    However, it is my understanding that it is the platform for old people and as people age and die, it will start to become less influencial.

    I like Warren’s plan though. She is correct that it is harmful when corporations get too big.

  17. Frosted Flakes
    Posted October 13, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Can someone post the ad? I couldn’t find it.

  18. iRobert
    Posted October 13, 2019 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    I like that it’s a sign of the apocalypse, Sad. You know I’m a big fan of the apocalypse.

    Are t you worried you’re going to see Mayor Pete deepfake porn, Sad. Or were you looking forward to it?

  19. Posted October 13, 2019 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t quitting Facebook over this on par with being so disgusted with politics that you stop voting? It seems to me that Warren has the right idea. Stay on and take every opportunity to refute bullshit. Call out friends and family when the post blatantly false information. Fight the fight.

    As I noted in the post, Bob, it’s something that I’m thinking about. And I think that’s why I’ve stayed on the past two years, even though I’ve been on a whole lot less. I’ve justified staying on the platform because of my family, because it gives me an opportunity to share what I’ve written here, and because I’m occasionally able to set someone straight on an issue. I don’t know that it’s enough, though, when, on the other side of the ledger, Facebook is monetizing my time and content and using their growing monopoly to serve the interests of the 1%. They have to be held accountable, and, if Congress won’t do it, people need to.

  20. Bob
    Posted October 13, 2019 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    I get it and I have had similar thoughts. It seems like boycotting would just let much of it go unchecked. Zuckerberg is a piece of crap. Using Facebook itself to embarrass it’s biggest advertisers would be the best bet, however that might be done.

  21. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted October 13, 2019 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Well son of a bitch

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbixdV2F6Ts

  22. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted October 13, 2019 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    Top comment: Seth Halpern
    1 week ago
    “The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.” – George Orwell, 1984

  23. Dan Pfeiffer by proxy
    Posted October 14, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Facebook is trying to obscure the difference between allowing politicians to post whatever they want and Facebook getting paid to microtarget misinformation at the voters their massive amount of data says is most susceptible to the misinformation.

  24. Kat
    Posted October 14, 2019 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    #DeleteFacebook is trending in the US.

  25. 734
    Posted October 14, 2019 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Looks like you made the right call, Mark.

    NEW: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been hosting secretive talks & off-the-record dinners with conservative influencers in recent months to discuss free speech and partnerships. Among the participants: Tucker Carlson & Lindsey Graham.

  26. iRobert
    Posted October 14, 2019 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    I’m surprised your children didn’t tell you years ago, Mark, all the cool people left Facebook a long time ago. It’s been nothing but lonely losers and perverts for years.

  27. iRobert
    Posted October 14, 2019 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    No offense.

  28. Frosted Flakes
    Posted October 14, 2019 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    I have never even considered joining FB. Until now.

  29. Satan
    Posted October 14, 2019 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    An internet presence is essentially what generations past had envisioned as carrying the “mark of the beast.” Seems pretty obvious, yet few have caught on. This is just too easy.

  30. iRobert
    Posted October 14, 2019 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    I would have thought Satan himself would have achieved some level of elequence. It’s pretty disappointing to see the Prince of Darkness himself coming across as no more sophisticated than the average internet troll.

  31. Frosted Flakes
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Thanks for providing the link to the ad, HW.

    When I try to link to the proof that the ad is false I am not able to read the proof without subscribing. Anybody want to convey the “proof” that the ad is “false”?

    The ad definitely spins the facts toward a specific interpretation but has it been proven that the statements in the ad are “false”? Isn’t there evidence to support the specific interpretation of the facts in the ad?

  32. Frosted Flakes
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    “I’m with Bob – fight the power- don’t retreat.“—Sad

    Has it never dawned on you that people like Mark are the power? If you follow the timing of his articles it seems pretty obvious that the main purpose of Mark’s writings are part of a larger coordinated effort to push a specific Dem agenda which is shared directly to him for dissemination.

    Is the movement to abandon Facebook coincidental? Was the timing of his call for Pelosi to impeach coincidental?

  33. Jean Henry
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    “Has it never dawned on you that people like Mark are the power?…
    Is the movement to abandon Facebook coincidental? Was the timing of his call for Pelosi to impeach coincidental?”

    FF– you’ve lost it.

  34. Frosted Flakes
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Mark is not a Plutocrat obviously but…

    You don’t think Mark’s writings are obviously part of a coordinated Dem agenda to protect the power it has and get back power it lost? I might be underestimating the influence of social media on Mark’s thought. It is also possible he just parrots the agenda he consumes from bigger outlets and social media. Not sure. I don’t have Twitter, FB, Instagram. I don’t have a sub to WSJ either. What is the “proof” begins that link which claims to prove something?

  35. Frosted Flakes
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    I would like the perspective of the white woman whose parents met at Harvard. In what way is Mark not part of the power? Why specifically have I “lost it”?

  36. iRobert
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Didn’t everyone know Trump would be impeached by a Democratic Congress? It was totally predictable for two reasons. First, the Democrats are so freaked out by Trump being president, there is no way they’d ever forgo an opportunity to attempt impeachment. Second, Trump is too stupid and impulsive not to give them reasons to and on a regular basis.

    The only question was whether or not the Democrats would be able to gain enough seats in the 2018 midterms to open an impeachment inquiry. Even that looked somewhat inevitable.

  37. Frosted Flakes
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Yes, but Mark, along with others, timed his “all in” on impeachment “now” in a way that perfectly preceded Pelosi’s statements. That is not the interesting the part. The interesting part is it was done in a timely way without an an explicit analysis of facts. People might dispute that analysis was not done. I don’t see it. Still don’t see it. Everything is assumed because analysis is not important. The carrying out of specific agendas is all that matters.

  38. iRobert
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Well, most of the holdouts in the Democratic Party decided an impeachment investigation was necessary once the details of Trump’s Ukraine phonecall and the whistleblower’s complaint were made public. So any manipulation of timing which is going on is at the level of whoever advised the whistleblower. But it also all hinged on Trump doing something really stupid which could be strongly argued to be a violation of law. I supposed it would also have to have some documentation to serve as evidence, such as a recording, or transcript of a recording. The White House attempting to conceal the phonecall by falsely claiming it involved classified information also helped make it a strong foundation for a case. I’m not sure there was any significance to the timing apart from this particular fuckup by this fuckup-in-chief was the first strongest example with which a case could be made. Trump has been doing a number of very inappropriate and technically illegal things since taking office. It’s only because the GOP Congress was so criminally complicit that action wasn’t taken sooner.

  39. iRobert
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Hunter Biden’s foreign business deals were inappropriate, and Joe should have known better. The Obama Administration shouldn’t have permitted it. It may also be cause for some sort of legal action. But it isn’t justification for a subsequent president doing something similar.

    Someone, maybe you or EOS, should explain to the president that his re-election committee should be doing all his opposition research and attack ads. That’s a sure way he could avoid breaking laws himself personally. It’s all legal when an official campaign organization does the stupid shit he was trying to do himself. What a complete moron he is. And the people around him are morons for not explaining it to him, unless they want him to get impeached so they an have Pence as president, which is what I suspect.

  40. Posted October 15, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Bolton warned lawyers over ‘hand grenade’ Giuliani’s Ukraine pressure — report

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/bolton-warned-lawyers-over-hand-grenade-giulianis-ukraine-pressure-report/

    (From The Times of Israel)

  41. Frosted Flakes
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    “I supposed it would also have to have some documentation to serve as evidence, such as a recording, or transcript of a recording.”

    As I see it two things need to happen to show a violation of a rule. First, it needs to be established that FEC Weintraub’s interpretation of info can be “a thing of value” is anything like a universal interpretation. It is not. Even the Mueller report delved into the issue of interpretation of info as thing of value and seemed to sided on the issue as being in grey area at best. Second, would need to show there was a connection between info sought FOR the purpose of campaign dirt and not some other reason. Absent that type of evidence they have nothing.

    The ultimate irony to me is some of the actual pretext for some of Trump’s supposed rule breaking poking around into the Russian interference narrative can be gleaned from the info provided in the actual Mueller Report. Sounds crazy right?

  42. iRobert
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    FF: “Second, would need to show there was a connection between info sought FOR the purpose of campaign dirt and not some other reason. Absent that type of evidence they have nothing.”

    Actually, the burden would be more on Trump’s defenders in the Senate to show the legitimate reason Trump would have for personally taking action regarding an issue involving his most likely opponent in the coming election. It would have to be a pretty compelling alternative motive also, because the obvious motive is most compelling and Trump has established that he doesn’t know better than to commit such violations. The Democrats have the compelling case, so Republicans need to show the holes in it. But we’ve seen the Republicans have made a very open decision to put their political aspirations above any public duty. That’s been their very public stance since Obama was elected. So even if the Democrats were to make a powerful and airtight case, I doubt Republicans would respond as responsible public servants beholden only to the insititions which they’ve have sworn to preserve and protect.

  43. EOS
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Maybe the best evidence will be the total volume of all the former Obama officials and the active criminal investigations, most of whom are not running for office. If Biden were the only official being scrutinized, the Dem response might have slight validity. But the corruption of the Obama administration may be so extensive that it becomes obvious it has nothing to do with the upcoming election and everything to do with holding previous officeholders accountable.

  44. iRobert
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    If Trunp ever looks to be in actual danger of being impeached, I predict he blatantly takes Pence down in advance. I think the administration is infested with individuals who’d be happy to see Trump go and replaced by Pence.

  45. Frosted Flakes
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    I appreciate you communicating your perspective but I don’t agree at all. I don’t think the Dem’s case is compelling at all. For it to lead to actual removal office or even for the theater of it all to lead to winning the optics battle requires more of the American people to be sold on the ideas that 1) info ought to be considered the equivalent “A thing of value; 2) An Investigation into possible corruption is a corrupt act if specific steps are not followed; and 3) Trump did not want to go against 10% Joe.

    I’m sorry. 3 is so fetched, 3 alone is sufficient to erase anything that might seem compelling about the Dem case to the vast majority of Americans.

  46. iRobert
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    EOS: “Maybe the best evidence will be the total volume of all the former Obama officials and the active criminal investigations, most of whom are not running for office. If Biden were the only official being scrutinized, the Dem response might have slight validity. But the corruption of the Obama administration may be so extensive that it becomes obvious it has nothing to do with the upcoming election and everything to do with holding previous officeholders accountable.”

    Open investigations wouldn’t be very compelling as investigations can be opened for political reasons. Convictions, on the other hand, might provide some support. However, I doubt Trump has personally bothered to talk about any other investigations (do you know of any particular examples?) For that reason, that defense would be weak, especially without convictions. It could easily be shown that Trump was personally focused on the Bidens.

    The most absurd thing about all this is that Trump’s re-election committee could have done all of it without violating any laws. Trump is just too dumb to understand that, and his people are not loyal enough to explain that to him – that or they are to corrupt to doubt they can get away with blatent violations.

  47. iRobert
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Most Americans, even according to Fox, already seem pretty convinced Trump did something wrong. They still might be persuaded it wasn’t to the degree of seriousness as to be impeachable. But much of that will depend on the quality of the case the GOP Senators make.

    I’d assume Senate Republicans will do the same thing they did on Kavanaugh, and depending on how well the Democrats present their case, it could do some damage to Trump and Senate Republicans in 2020. I don’t think this GOP Senate is capable of doing their duty regardless of the details. They’re nothing more than idealogs and party stooges.

  48. Frosted Flakes
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    I think one piece of evidence that EOS is right is the story of the transcript has always been told by Dems in a way that conveniently skips over Trumps inquiry into other possible pieces of corruption. Why?

    I don’t understand the idea that nothing ought to have been considered classified in the transcript either. My understanding is that Trump released the transcript only after Ukrainian prez said it was ok to do it. They were discussing Potential investigations. How is that not sensitive info?

  49. Frosted Flakes
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    American opinion/ support for impeachment, right now, when not much is at stake, speaks to the success the corrupted press has at forming flimsy opinion. Those opinions will prove flimsy when placed under the light of reason. This behind closed doors stuff is just for for the purpose of manufacturing innuendo. The choice to do it in the dark evidence of the weakness of their reasoning. They are afraid of Reason.

  50. iRobert
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    I do agree the closed-door sessions don’t look good and may be a indication of the weakness of the Democrats position. They also may just be very focused on maintaining control so as to minimize details being used to discredit the hearings.

    What were the other corruption cases Trump discussed on the phone call? You’re right the press hasn’t mentioned any of that.

  51. EOS
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    “What were the other corruption cases Trump discussed on the phone call?”

    There are a number of ongoing investigations and probably none of the other investigations have anything to do with the new leader of the Ukraine or would have been discussed on this phone call. And these would involve actual crimes, not a supposition of a quid pro quo where none exists.

  52. FrostedFlakes
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    The first thing Trump asked Zelensky to look into was CrowdStrike. Nobody seems to want to talk about it.

    Trouble doubled down asking China to investigate Hunter.

    Whereas Biden says we would not not have Hunter doing what he did if he was elected president. From where does the change of heart come from. From what place does Trump double-down?

    The Dems will never win this battle with Trump unless some highly damning evidence against Trump comes out. Never! Dems are just hurting themselves, IMO.

  53. Frosted Flakes
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Crowdstrike.

  54. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    https://nypost.com/2019/10/12/fox-news-pollster-braun-research-misrepresented-impeachment-poll-analysis/

    Princeton, New Jersey, pollster Braun Research, which conducted the survey, noted 48% of its respondents were Democrats. But the actual breakdown of party affiliation is 31% Democrat, 29% Republican and 38% independent, according to Gallup.

  55. Sad
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Who cares?

    Let’s concentrate on sending good thoughts to Mayor Pete for a great performance tonight!

    The only thing that will change the situation is the 2020 elections.

    The rest means nothing.

    But of course you all do best in debating the irrelevant.

  56. Frosted Flakes
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Possible DNC corruption could have huge consequences for you and Pete, Sad. It’s very relevant. It is probably the reason Tulsi used talk of boycotting the debate—because she is trying to draw attention to corruption.

  57. John Brown
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Crowdstrike is the fakiest of fake news, yet being regurgitated by the cud chewing magats. I guess the name has high conspiracy appeal.

    From Vice News (as featured in agent oranges murderous rampage video) (which is a hole nother story, WTF)

    “In a 2017 interview with the Associated Press, Trump said CrowdStrike is “Ukraine-based” (fact check: it’s based in Sunnyvale, California, and has a big office in Arlington, Virginia).

    “That’s what I heard. I heard it’s owned by a very rich Ukrainian, that’s what I heard,” Trump said.

    So, to recap, it seems that Trump is saying that CrowdStrike, an American company, is actually Ukrainian. That’s why he’s asking the new President of Ukraine, a former comedian by the way, to help him find a missing server that actually does not exist.”

  58. iRobert
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    That’s another good find, HW.

    Now I’m wondering who at Fox funded that Braun Research poll.

  59. Frosted Flakes
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    JB,

    You call it a false theory. Although I have many times heard people calling CrowdStrike a false theory I have never heard anyone articulate what the supposed false theory is comprised of. What does the supposed theory attempt to explain away? Since you seem to know it is a theory and false can you at least articulate the supposed theory?

    What exactly hinges upon where CrowdStrike is based/ who has money invested? What exactly hinges upon Trump being right or wrong about fishy stuff happening around CrowdStrike?

  60. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    So interesting the dems would use a Russian-born American’s company to investigate their server issue and their word is supposed to be better than the FBI.

    “Dmitri Alperovitch is Russian-born American computer security industry executive. He is co-founder and chief technology officer of CrowdStrike.”

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