Same Facebook that banned conservative political ads gladly accepted 100 out of 100 ads from fictional U.S. Senators

Friday, November 2, 2018
By Paul Martin

by: JD Heyes
Friday, November 02, 2018

While Facebook is publicly claiming it has cleaned up its act and is carefully screening all things political so as to ensure there are no shenanigans or dishonesty taking place on its platform ahead of the 2018 midterms, Vice News reports that the company’s efforts are falling flat.

In fact, the news site said its staffers recently posed as 100 fake senators in order to run ads across the platform, and Facebook approved every single one of them (Civics 101: There are 100 U.S. senators and the chances that all 100 of them would use Facebook for ads is slim).

Vice notes:

One of Facebook’s major efforts to add transparency to political advertisements is a required “Paid for by” disclosure at the top of each ad supposedly telling users who is paying for political ads that show up in their news feeds.

But on the eve of the 2018 midterm elections, a VICE News investigation found the “Paid for by” feature is easily manipulated and appears to allow anyone to lie about who is paying for a political ad, or to pose as someone paying for the ad.

In order to put the company to the test, Vice News sought to purchase fake political ads for all 100 U.S. senators, including “Paid for by” ads from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

The approvals were “bipartisan,” the website said, which shows that you can be just about anyone and purchase ads on the platform and have them marked as “Paid for by” an American politician.

That’s not all.

Each of the approvals was also allowed to be shared to pages of phony political organizations and groups like “Cookies for Political Transparency” and “Ninja Turtles PAC.” Vice News reported that it did not actually purchase any ads but rather its posing correspondents were simply approved to include “Paid for by” disclosures for requested ads.

The 100 senators test came after the website conducted an earlier one last week in which Vice News got approved for political ads posing as Vice President Mike Pence, ISIS, and Tom Perez, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee. The site attempted to buy ads for Hillary Clinton but those were denied.

The Rest…HERE

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