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Warren Tests Facebook With False Ad About Zuck, Trump

Platform had refused to take down ad with baseless accusations against Biden
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 13, 2019 8:15 AM CDT
A new Facebook ad says Mark Zuckerberg endorsed President Trump, then says it's not true.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

(Newser) – Elizabeth Warren has countered a Facebook ad bought by President Trump's campaign with baseless accusations against Joe Biden with a false ad of her own. When the social media giant refused to take the ad down, Warren began running one Thursday saying that Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has endorsed Trump for re-election. The text of Warren's ad acknowledges that it's not true, Reuters reports. "But what Zuckerberg *has* done is given Donald Trump free rein to lie on his platform—and then to pay Facebook gobs of money to push out their lies to American voters," the ad says. The text criticizes Facebook's new policy to not fact-check political speech or ads. That applies to the Trump ad, "Corruption," that claims Biden offered $1 billion to Ukraine in exchange for helping his son, Hunter, per a Washington Post analysis. CNN and other outlets have refused the ad.

A Trump campaign spokesman said Warren is using "a blatant lie (Zuck endorsement) as a straw man argument to restrict #FreeSpeech." Warren, who has endorsed breaking up Facebook, criticized the policy change Saturday in a tweet, saying the company now is "in the disinformation-for-profit business." Says Warren, "We decided to see just how far it goes." PolitiFact called the Trump ad false, but a Facebook executive last month said political ads aren't run through fact-checkers. When it receives political speech, "we generally allow it on the platform even when it would otherwise breach our normal content rule," he said. The "Corruption" ad has expired on Facebook. (Read more Facebook stories.)

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