Hillary Clinton Applauds Twitter Move On Political Ads: ‘What Say You, Facebook?’

2019-10-30 18:05:21

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is cheering Twitter for its decision to ban all political advertising on its platform ― and now she’s looking straight at Facebook.

Twitter’s announcement came from CEO Jack Dorsey on Wednesday. He said, in a series of tweets, that the social media giant would stop all political advertising globally in order to inhibit the spread of misinformation and to ensure that political reach was earned, not bought.

Clinton, who had tweeted just hours earlier condemning Facebook’s stance on allowing misinformation in political advertising, immediately praised Twitter for the move, which she characterized as the “right thing to do for democracy in America and all over the world.”

“What say you, @Facebook?” she added.

The former Democratic presidential candidate was plagued by issues with Facebook during her 2016 campaign against Donald Trump, which she blames, in part, for her loss. 

Clinton says she was subjected to an unprecedented campaign of disinformation and social engineering on the platform, orchestrated by Russian agents and bots.

Last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was questioned at a congressional hearing about the company’s proposed digital currency, which it is calling Libra. The hearing turned into a grilling on a wide range of issues with the platform, including privacy, data use and the spread of false information.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) demanded Zuckerberg explain whether Facebook would hypothetically allow her to run false political ads claiming Republicans had voted for the Green New Deal. After first being unable to answer, the Facebook exec said, “Probably.”

His defense of his company’s policy was that, although “lying is bad,” it is not within a tech company’s mandate to determine what politicians can or cannot say.

Last month, Facebook (as well as Twitter and YouTube) refused to remove an ad run by the Trump reelection campaign that pushed debunked claims about former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. The Biden campaign condemned the platforms for allowing the ad. 

Other Democrats have challenged Facebook’s policy, including 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who was able to run a fake ad that claimed Zuckerberg endorsed Trump for 2020.

However, when a left-wing political action group ran a version of Ocasio-Cortez’s hypothetical ad on Friday, claiming that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) supported the Green New Deal, Facebook halted paid distribution of the ad, saying that different rules applied for political action groups versus politicians.

The Biden campaign also praised Twitter’s Wednesday announcement, calling it “encouraging” that the company chose integrity over revenue.

The Trump campaign slammed the move. Campaign manager Brad Parscale issued a statement calling it “another attempt by the left to silence Trump and conservatives” and a “very dumb decision for their stockholders” to walk away from “millions of dollars of potential revenue.”

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