How Facebook Shot Themselves in the Foot in their Elizabeth Warren Spat
Over the weekend, Facebook likened itself to a broadcaster – inadvertently asking to be regulated. This was in the third round of an argument with Elizabeth Warren over the company’s choice to run Donald Trump’s $1m advertising campaign containing lies about Joe Biden. Facebook had a stated policy of not running deceptive ads, but changed it right before the ad ran – just for politicians’ messages. Warren took aim at the practice by headlining her own Facebook ad with the cheeky claim that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had just endorsed Trump, arguing that choosing to profit from lies amounts to an endorsement of a particular kind of candidate.
Facebook took the highly unusual step of tweeting a public response to Warren by name, comparing itself to a local broadcaster who is required by law to carry political ads, and even citing Federal Communications Commission rules as a rationale. One wonders if any DC lawyers took a look at that argument.