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October 13, 2019 1:52 PM   Subscribe

Elizabeth Warren Trolls Facebook With Ad Claiming Zuckerberg Supports Trump Sen. Elizabeth Warren is putting a spotlight on Facebook’s ad policies by turning the tables on the powerful social network. Following a week in which Facebook has been extensively criticized for its policy that allows politicians to lie in paid advertisements, Warren decided to place an ad of her own that makes false statements about Facebook and its chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis (45 comments total) 51 users marked this as a favorite
 
Once again, the heart of this is Section 230. CNN won't run ads with blatant lies and defamation because they can be held accountable for doing so - Facebook can because we have legally indemnified their behavior. If you want Facebook to stop, then you need to make Facebook legally accountable for the ads they run.
posted by NoxAeternum at 1:59 PM on October 13, 2019 [67 favorites]


If you're the CEO and at an all-hands meeting you threaten to sue the government if one candidate for President is elected and don't even mention the current President, maybe it could be construed as support for the status quo?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 2:19 PM on October 13, 2019 [66 favorites]


That anyone thinks Zuckerberg is not a Republican is next level crazy.
posted by cj_ at 2:22 PM on October 13, 2019 [39 favorites]


This is oddly epic trolling. And it's being played on network television as part of the news reporting on it, which is also sort of epic because it's part of a news story and not a paid political advertisement.

Warren has started to do things that show she can meet Trump in his own game, only without the nasty. Her comments that went viral over the weekend [twitter link, video ~45s] were also perfectly stated and perfectly timed for maximum effect.
posted by hippybear at 2:22 PM on October 13, 2019 [72 favorites]


Warren decided to place an ad of her own that makes false statements about Facebook and its chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg.

What makes you think it is false?
posted by JackFlash at 2:24 PM on October 13, 2019 [11 favorites]


Whether Zuckerberg is in favor of Trump or not, there has been no official announcement of endorsement, and that makes the ad false.
posted by hippybear at 2:28 PM on October 13, 2019 [8 favorites]


She, apparently, did have a plan for that.
posted by tula at 2:29 PM on October 13, 2019 [23 favorites]


Whether Zuckerberg is in favor of Trump or not, there has been no official announcement of endorsement, and that makes the ad false.

Funny, I missed the part in the ad that says Zuckerberg made "an official endorsement."
posted by JackFlash at 2:32 PM on October 13, 2019 [5 favorites]


She does seem to be really good at this. Last week she turned allegations that she wasn't fired for being pregnant into a dialog about how women are still discriminated on the job for being pregnant. This week she's turning Zuckerberg's transparently self-serving advertising rules back on him.
posted by octothorpe at 2:34 PM on October 13, 2019 [53 favorites]


When the republican smear machine tried to make the claim she was a hardcore dominatrix that scared off a poor ex-marine gigolo, and she responded with this, I knew she'd hold her own.

I don't think they realize just how good she and her team are at this. She's got their number.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 2:35 PM on October 13, 2019 [41 favorites]


Hard to have Breaking News unless it's a specific moment of announcement.
posted by hippybear at 2:35 PM on October 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


Funny, I missed the part in the ad that says Zuckerberg made "an official endorsement."

"Breaking news: Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook just endorsed Donald Trump for re-election." It's right there in the first line.
posted by micketymoc at 2:39 PM on October 13, 2019 [19 favorites]


It is seriously things like this that has me so fiercely committed in supporting her campaign. And the weekly conference call about her policies make me giddy.
posted by Ruki at 2:39 PM on October 13, 2019 [13 favorites]


Well, just a couple of weeks ago Zuckerberg went to a meeting with the Malefactor in Chief at the White House which he characterized on his Facebook account as "a good, constructive meeting with President Trump at the White House."

Many people would consider doing kissy face with Trump as an endorsement. Zuckerberg certainly does not find Trump's policies too repellent to travel to the White House and shake hands with him. And Zuckerberg has declared in public that Warren, on the other hand, is an existential threat to Facebook. And Zuckerberg never said a word about the Trump's tax cuts for the rich that made Zuckerberg even wealthier.

It's pretty clear when push comes to shove, if Warren runs against Trump, you know who Zuckerberg is going to vote for.

But if that doesn't constitute a public endorsement, fine, I'm good with Warren's joke.
posted by JackFlash at 2:55 PM on October 13, 2019 [24 favorites]


I remember, back when Warren first announced, there was all manner of wittering and whining ad wringing of hands that she "didn't have what it took" to beat Trump, that he'd steamroller all over her, etc. I hope the concern trolls are enjoying their heaping helpings of crow. I have never felt this excited about a candidate before or since Obama. #Warren2020
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 2:55 PM on October 13, 2019 [81 favorites]


Regarding Section 230: it seems unlikely to me that either a newspaper or an advertiser could be successfully sued for defamation when it involves a public figure like either Zuckerberg or Elizabeth Warren.

Secondly, it seems like incentivizing intermediaries like Facebook (or Metafilter!) to pre-emptively filter primarily on whether they could face defamation litigation is sort of walking them into the same problematic space that the Thiel/Gizmodo lawsuit has been pulling us.

I know I'm never going to be quite on the same page as NoxAeternum on this, but maybe Section 230 isn't the cause of, and its revocation the solution to, all of our online woes?
posted by ntk at 3:12 PM on October 13, 2019 [3 favorites]


I remember, back when Warren first announced, there was all manner of wittering and whining ad wringing of hands that she "didn't have what it took" to beat Trump, that he'd steamroller all over her, etc.

Honestly, I was concerned about Warren's ability to campaign against Trump when she blundered into that "Native American DNA testing" thing, because it made her seem too easily trolled. Thankfully, she seems to have gotten better about that since then.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 3:14 PM on October 13, 2019 [6 favorites]


Warren is just a total badass.
posted by Windopaene at 3:17 PM on October 13, 2019 [22 favorites]


"Breaking news: Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook just endorsed Donald Trump for re-election." It's right there in the first line.

Dude, that's clearly a self-aware clickbait phrasing thing and I am fairly certain most people understand it as such.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:20 PM on October 13, 2019 [4 favorites]


I realized the other day that my love for the show Call the Midwife is not because it's soapy and sentimental as hell (which it is) but because it's a whole hour of hypercompetent women being hypercompetent. Just women...working and doing it well. More experienced women helping less-experienced women. Women spotting problems, and solving them. No man needed to save them, though they are welcome to assist. It's like a drug right to the old veins.

Warren scratches that same itch. She's just...good at this. At running, at governing. Not the Savior of the World, not able to save us all single-handed, absolutely having flaws, but just a woman who is good at what she does.

God, it would be like coming out into daylight after being locked in the basement to have not just someone like her, but the kind of people she would hire, running the government.
posted by emjaybee at 3:21 PM on October 13, 2019 [122 favorites]


I really wish joe would GTFO and throw his endorsement to Liz. He's gonna fuck this up (more).
posted by j_curiouser at 3:36 PM on October 13, 2019 [46 favorites]


A dark voice is reminding me of when Clinton's social media team queued up a policy announcement at 3am to mock Trump's habit of tweeting at 3am, and all the coverage was about how clever the timing of the announcement was and not what the policy was.

Most of Warren's clapbacks in the past couple of weeks seem to be done so that they say something about her policies and beliefs. She's concerned about Facebook's threat to democracy; she buys an ad on Facebook to that effect. She gets accused of having sex with a Marine (I'm not sure how this was supposed to hurt her), she talks about her alma mater in a way that you have to hear her message to work out why it's a clapback.

So she's definitely better at it than Clinton was, but it's worth keeping in mind that the base loves a clapback, even if it doesn't actually help. In the future, her media team might decide to keep this up because the base loves it, and accidentally stop talking about what a Warren presidency might actually do.
posted by Merus at 3:43 PM on October 13, 2019 [9 favorites]


Dude, that's clearly a self-aware clickbait phrasing thing and I am fairly certain most people understand it as such.

Count me in with "most". I was just replying to the earlier comment that they didn't see the "endorsement" in the ad.
posted by micketymoc at 3:55 PM on October 13, 2019 [3 favorites]


In the future, her media team might decide to keep this up because the base loves it, and accidentally stop talking about what a Warren presidency might actually do.

The keyword here is "might." Not "will." I don't think it's a good idea to borrow trouble at this stage. If the fibbies start investigating Warren or something, then yeah, worry away. But at this point there's no indication that Warren's media team is anything but deft.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 3:59 PM on October 13, 2019 [16 favorites]


Yeah, I mean, "She's got a plan for that" is the Warren brand. In every campaign training I've been to, the participants used the chat to talk about their favorite Warren plan. It was kinda heartwarming, actually. So I really doubt the media team will ever stop talking about what a Warren presidency might actually do.
posted by Ruki at 4:31 PM on October 13, 2019 [12 favorites]


I am a warren fangirl but this was brilliant. I don't know who her media advisers are but they are some super savy smart people. This also makes me believe that if she gets the nomination, she will be a match for the trump swamp machine.
posted by bluesky43 at 5:41 PM on October 13, 2019 [5 favorites]


If you really want to fuck facebook up you need to say that you will introduce formal third party auditing of the web stats for internet advertising companies. Facebook just settled for $50 million for inflating their video views to advertisers by a measly 500%. The big internet companies are deliberately massively fraudulent both on their own and via their permissive advertising policies.
posted by srboisvert at 6:17 PM on October 13, 2019 [33 favorites]


If you want to stop Facebook, you cut off their oxygen supply. You give individuals property rights to their own data and require Facebook to pay individuals for their data. There is no question that Facebook considers personal data to be a valuable property that they closely guard and sell as a commodity to others. Facebook simply presumes to own the data, but laws could change that assumption.
posted by JackFlash at 6:35 PM on October 13, 2019 [45 favorites]


Sadly, at this point, Facebook's bigger problem is that they are about to be sued by a bunch of media companies for inflating viewership for their stupid "pivot to video" initiative. This will also make it difficult to convince their investors that their plan to monetize the platform through advertising is sustainable in the long run.

Fuck with democracy? Meh.

Fuck with advertisers' money? Now you've got a fucking problem.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:00 PM on October 13, 2019 [16 favorites]


God, it would be like coming out into daylight after being locked in the basement to have not just someone like her, but the kind of people she would hire, running the government.

Thank you for that Emjaybee. I couldn't agree more, and reading that just made my whole weekend better.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 9:37 PM on October 13, 2019 [13 favorites]


This is great, because it basically neuters the effects of any future negative Facebook ads against her with all but the most insane Republicans. All she has to do is point out to reasonable people that Facebook gladly took her money to run fake ads, and that they therefore cannot be trusted.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:55 PM on October 13, 2019 [8 favorites]


Since when do Trump's dishonest ads admit in the small print that they are lies?

It would have been a better test if she told a straight-up total lie and dared Zuck to censor it. Problem is that I don't know how Warren could think up a lie about Trump that would be worse than just telling the truth.
posted by straight at 1:01 AM on October 14, 2019 [3 favorites]


It would have been a better test if she told a straight-up total lie and dared Zuck to censor it.

That's just handing the GOP propaganda machine a truckload of fresh meat. Fun to think about in your head, but not advisable in reality.
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:07 AM on October 14, 2019 [13 favorites]


Problem is that I don't know how Warren could think up a lie about Trump that would be worse than just telling the truth.

It doesn't have to be worse. Paint Trump as endorsing open abortion and Second Amendment restrictions.
posted by parliboy at 7:13 AM on October 14, 2019 [4 favorites]


I remember, back when Warren first announced, there was all manner of wittering and whining ad wringing of hands that she "didn't have what it took" to beat Trump, that he'd steamroller all over her, etc. I hope the concern trolls are enjoying their heaping helpings of crow. I have never felt this excited about a candidate before or since Obama. #Warren2020

Yeah, seriously! I follow/enjoy a lot of the dirtbag left and understand some of their criticisms of Warren, and generally think that it's okay to critique anybody running for president, but their occasional narrative that Warren's a weak speaker or doesn't have public presence feels wildly off. She's been a national presence for over a decade for a reason, and is so sharp and magnetic and witty. And you get the sense that she doesn't need two dozen highly-paid cohorts to script all her clever lines for her, which is a problem certain politicians face.
posted by rorgy at 8:58 AM on October 14, 2019 [10 favorites]


100% agree with Jack Flash. Any revenue from buying or selling my personal data should flow to me and/or such sales should be approved explicitly by me. Tough shit if that breaks your business model.
posted by freecellwizard at 11:01 AM on October 14, 2019 [4 favorites]




It would have been a better test if she told a straight-up total lie and dared Zuck to censor it. Problem is that I don't know how Warren could think up a lie about Trump that would be worse than just telling the truth.

My first thought was that it should have been an egregious lie about Zuckerberg -- like,
"Breaking News: Zuckerberg Flees to North Korea, Revealed as Funder of Human Trafficking and Child Porn Ring"

But I appreciate that Warren's campaign isn't going scorched-earth right off the bat.
posted by bjrubble at 11:54 AM on October 14, 2019 [7 favorites]


Has anyone been getting a creeping anxiety that our century's Great Depression is going to be the result of the discovery, precipitated by the rest of the business world finally get enough people who fucking understand technology into leadership positions to start to suspect this, that Facebook and Google are total fucking ponzi schemes who provide orders of magnitude less benefit to advertisers than they claim and are no more profitable than Twitter or Uber? Causing a second Dot Com bubble burst that makes the first one seem like a pleasant breeze?
posted by Caduceus at 1:49 PM on October 14, 2019 [3 favorites]


Creeping anxiety? Nope. Fervent hope? Goddamned yes.
posted by evilDoug at 2:47 PM on October 14, 2019 [2 favorites]


I really don't have a fervent home for a Great Depression. The Great Depression sucked for a lot of people in many, many ways. While I don't expect it I'd love to see a careful and reasoned movement away from the kind of financialization that has resulted in stagnant wages, obscene profits, and exactly the kind of wealth inequality that is causing problems..
posted by caphector at 3:08 PM on October 14, 2019 [4 favorites]


This is a genuine question, not trying to play devil's advocate: is this a good idea? It feels like kicking a hornet's nest, that they're going to ramp up their efforts to hamstring her run. I think of all the credulous idiots I know from my time on facebook and other social media, and how much they believed a lot of the misinformation in the last election, and I get a knot in my stomach. Zuckerberg is a piece of shit and I can't imagine he'd have any kind of compunction about going after her. I love that she's willing to play their game, but...am I just being my usual sensitive snowflake self by worrying about this kind of thing? I'm sure most people know more about this than I do.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 5:34 PM on October 14, 2019 [2 favorites]


This is a genuine question, not trying to play devil's advocate: is this a good idea? It feels like kicking a hornet's nest, that they're going to ramp up their efforts to hamstring her run.

It's a good question, but my own answer puts those knots in my stomach. They're going to swarm and sting whether the nest gets kicked or not (more like yellowjackets than hornets; hornets don't like being bothered and will become aggressive whereas yellowjackets are just aggressively malicious and will bite and sting you without provocation). To switch analogies for a different perspective: it used to be an option to wrestle the pig in US politics whereas US politics is now just pig wrestling.

Also I think it's a good and important enough question that it was asked and answered by Warren's team. I certainly hope they're the sort of team that makes the right decision based on a long-considered answer when questions like is this a good idea? come up.
posted by carsonb at 7:34 PM on October 14, 2019 [6 favorites]


is this a good idea? It feels like kicking a hornet's nest, that they're going to ramp up their efforts to hamstring her run.

The effort to hamstring her run is going to be turned up to 11 regardless, because Zuck and his ilk can't stand Warren's proposed policies. They are absolutely going to go scorched-earth against her, because the taxes she would impose on plutocrats like them are, in their eyes, an existential threat. Hell, she's probably the greatest threat to their wealth (and consequently, power) in a generation. No amount of being polite and playing nice is going to blunt that.

They're going to pretend to be deeply regretful over the whole thing, when they have to, reluctantly, support Trump, but that's what they're going to do. Don't believe the crocodile tears; they were always going to support Trump over Warren. Better to watch the world burn than to pay taxes!

So there's no real need to hold back. Nothing less than political war with Facebook was ever possible. And when war is inevitable, you might as well seize the initiative.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:13 AM on October 15, 2019 [10 favorites]


It feels like kicking a hornet's nest, that they're going to ramp up their efforts to hamstring her run.

Note that the verge has reported that Zuckerberg (and therefore Facebook because Zuckerberg has a controlling share of votes on the board) perceives Warren as existential threat prior to this. As those above have said, this might be a valid concern except that there's no 'up' to ramp to.
posted by PMdixon at 7:34 AM on October 15, 2019 [5 favorites]


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