Oct 28, 2019

Facebook pulls false Green New Deal campaign ad from third-party PAC

Facebook pulled an ad over the weekend that falsely suggested that Sen. Lindsey Graham had endorsed the Green New Deal.

The big picture: Facebook hasn't changed its policy allowing political candidates to lie at will in advertisements. In this case, it was a third-party political action committee making the allegation — and Facebook doesn't give such groups the same exemption as candidates themselves.

Between the lines: When CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified last week before a House committee, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asked if she could run an ad claiming Republicans had supported, for example, the Green New Deal. Zuckerberg said she probably could.

  • A third-party group decided to do just that, suggesting Graham had endorsed the environmental proposal.

Why it matters: Facebook's free pass for political lies has prompted legislators like Ocasio-Cortez and presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren to test the policy's limits, but so far, there don't seem to be any — as long as you're a politician.

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Rivals distance themselves from Facebook on political ads

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Google, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat all made new announcements this week adjusting their political ad policies, placing themselves on a broad spectrum from anything goes to a near-total ban.

Why it matters: Many social media companies are using the ongoing political ad debate to distance themselves from Facebook, which has received the most criticism for its policies. Facebook's rules are the least restrictive amongst the group, because the tech giant believes that the government should regulate political ads, not private companies.

Go deeperArrowNov 21, 2019

Zuckerberg’s power to hurt Trump

Photos: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images, Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Top Republicans are privately worried about a new threat to President Trump’s campaign: the possibility of Facebook pulling a Twitter and banning political ads. 

Why it matters: Facebook says it won't, but future regulatory pressure could change that. If Facebook were to ban — or even limit — ads, it could upend Trump’s fundraising and re-election plan, GOP officials tell Axios.

Go deeperArrowNov 2, 2019

Filling in the blanks on the Green New Deal

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Thursday unveiled a 10-year plan to spend up to $180 billion to decarbonize and overhaul the nation's public housing.

Why it matters: The lawmakers are calling the proposed bill the first attempt from Green New Deal sponsors to begin adding legislative details to the sweeping concept.

Go deeperArrowNov 15, 2019