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San Francisco Man Joins Race for Governor Only to Post Fake Ads on Facebook, Here's Why

Facebook does not fact-check ads by politicians and recently refused to act on complaints against a fake ad by Trump's reelection campaign against Joe Biden.


Updated:October 30, 2019, 5:09 PM IST
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San Francisco Man Joins Race for Governor Only to Post Fake Ads on Facebook, Here's Why
Adriel Hampton has a bone to pick with Facebook | Image credit: Twitter/Reuters

A man in San Francisco, US, has enrolled himself in the race for Governor in the upcoming 2020 elections in California just to call out Facebook.

Facebook's refusal to fact-check ads run by President Donald Trump's reelection campaign against Democrats' Joe Biden were met with flak. Facebook was slammed by the Democratic National Committee which accused it of allowing Trump "to mislead the American people on their platform unimpeded."

It is to challenge these policies that San Francisco-based political activist and entrepreneur Adriel Hampton is running for governor. He formally registered himself as a candidate at a local post office on Monday. Why? Because Hampton wants to use Facebook's policies to run fake ads against Trump, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and others.

The stunt is intended to draw attention to the easily exploitable policies that could have an immense impact on the upcoming Presidential elections where Trump is running for reelection.

Not just Trump, Facebook's policies prevent it from fact-checking ads run and paid for by any politicians or elected candidates. In response to criticism, Facebook argues that as a private company, it should not have the right to monitor speech (in this case, paid ads) made by politicians - elected representative of the free world - and especially not its leader (in this case, the President), CNN reported.

As per Facebook, if politicians tell lies on Facebook, they would be revealed by independent fact-checkers and alert media.

However, the social media giant does not share the same feelings for Hampton. According to a Facebook spokesperson, Hampton's ads would be subjected to third-party fact-checking as is customary for all (except politicians). They defended the decision by claiming that Hampton's sole, declared intention in running the gubernatorial race was to get around Facebook's policies.

Not one to take things lying down, Hampton who owns a marketing firm in San Francisco, told CNN that he would sue Facebook if need be and use all legal resources available to win the case.

Zuckerberg, who appeared in front of the Congress last week to answer questions regarding Facebook's Libra digital currency, was grilled by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The latter made the social-media moghul visibly flustered with her pointed questions regarding the policy to non fact-check politicians' ads.

Videos of the short interaction have been going viral on Facebook.

This week, New York Times reported that nearly hundreds of employees at Facebook had also written to the CEO voicing their concerns regarding Facebook's policy to not fact check ads by politicians.

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