After Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took on Mark Zuckerberg, a progressive group ran a blatantly false ad to test the limits of Facebook’s new policies.
Now, after that ad was removed, a person behind the group is running for governor of California to make a point: Facebook is letting politicians, including Donald Trump, spread lies.
On Saturday, Facebook a video ad promoted by a left-leaning PAC known as The Really Online Lefty League (check the acronym: TROLL). The ad falsely claimed that Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham supported the Green New Deal, legislation addressing climate change and economic inequality pushed by many progressive Democrats, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
This was after Facebook announced new policies that allowed politicians to run ads with false information in them. The update was roundly criticized and widely seen as favorable to President Donald Trump, who, well, lies a lot.
Just earlier this month, Facebook denied a request by Joe Biden's campaign to remove a Trump ad that was spreading disinformation. The 30-second video spread the false claim that then-Vice President Biden tied financial aid for Ukraine to the removal of a prosecutor investigating a company with ties to his son, Hunter.
When it came to the false Green New Deal ad, however, the social media giant took the ad down not once, but twice. The second time it was run by former U.S. Senator and 2020 Presidential Democratic primary candidate Mike Gravel’s Facebook Page.
On Sunday, regardless of the fact that Gravel is a politician, Facebook .
Today, Adriel Hampton, a founder and treasurer of the PAC behind the ad, tweeted that he was for governor of California specifically to press Facebook on the issue. In doing so, Hampton will be able to run “fake news” ads on the platform himself, completely in line with Facebook’s new policies.
“We will press this issue until Facebook and Twitter start treating Trump like everyone else, or until we win regulations in Sacramento and D.C. to force that issue,” Hampton said in a message to Mashable. He also attached the above photos showing him filing as a candidate.
Hampton has run for office before, becoming the first congressional candidate to ever announce their campaign on Twitter in 2009.
It’s unclear why Mike Gravel’s version of the ad was removed, but do say that ads featuring “previously debunked content” can be rejected, even if the ad campaign is from a politician. Hampton believes this is why the ad was removed. But it might not be the only reason.
"It seems likely any new ads from Mike would be taken down as he is a 'former politician,'" Hampton said. "[Gravel] has an active committee, but he did announce he was no longer running. So, we needed a new committee."
"We will press this issue until Facebook and Twitter start treating Trump like everyone else..."
Mashable reached out to Facebook for more information and will update this post when we hear back.
The original ad campaign, which started on Friday and had less than $100 behind it, sought to push the limits of Facebook’s new advertising policy. It was by an just days earlier between Mark Zuckerberg and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez at a .
“Would I be able to run advertisements on Facebook targeting Republicans in primaries saying they voted for the Green New Deal?” Ocasio-Cortez. “I mean, if you’re not fact-checking political advertisements, I’m just trying to understand the bounds here, what’s fair game.”
“Congresswoman, I don't know the answer to that off the top of my head,” replied Zuckerberg. “I think probably.”
While it seems like the jury is still out, perhaps Hampton’s gubernatorial campaign will find out.