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Elizabeth Warren on Facebook and the US presidential election

Written By: - Date published: 7:16 am, October 10th, 2019 - 72 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, accountability, corruption, democracy under attack, facebook, Politics, Propaganda, us politics - Tags: , ,

US Senator and Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren’s twitter thread about Facebook and the US election:

Facebook has incredible power to affect elections and our national debate. Mark Zuckerberg is telling employees that he views a Warren administration as an “existential” threat to Facebook. The public deserves to know how Facebook intends to use their influence in this election.

For instance, Trump and Zuckerberg met at the White House two weeks ago. What did they talk about?

After that meeting, Facebook quietly changed its policies on “misinformation” in ads, allowing politicians to run ads that have already been debunked by independent, non-partisan fact-checkers. Put another way, Facebook is now okay with running political ads with known lies.

They’re allowing Trump to spend over $1 million a week right now for ads on their platform—including ones that air the same lies that TV stations won’t. Here’s an example of an ad that Facebook let Trump run despite being obviously untrue:



Facebook already helped elect Donald Trump once because they were asleep at the wheel while Russia attacked our democracy—allowing fake, foreign accounts to run ad campaigns to influence our elections.

There’s no indication that Zuckerberg or Facebook executives have come to terms with the role their unpreparedness played in that successful attack, nor have they shown that they understand what needs to be done to prevent another attack in the 2020 election.

In fact, this time they’re going further by taking deliberate steps to help one candidate intentionally mislead the American people, while painting the candidacy of others (specifically: mine) as an “existential” threat. This is a serious concern for our democratic process.

We need accountability. That should start with Congress and the appropriate state authorities opening investigations and conducting hearings to make Facebook executives explain the company’s policies and practices—under oath.


72 comments on “Elizabeth Warren on Facebook and the US presidential election ”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    Zuckerberg is making common cause with Trump, for obvious reasons – Warren wants to break up his company via anti-trust laws. And Zuckerbery will do anything to stop her – up to and including allowing fascist lies to be peddled on his platform.


  2. Sabine 2

    Surely we can all agree that FB ads have nothing to do with anything – irrespective of who places them – what will re-elect Trump is not fraud or illegal support (as per their rules ) and such, no no its the economic anxiety of the white male working class that will get it for him. 🙂

  3. Stuart Munro. 3

    The campaign is illustrating a growing divide between the political and general classes in the US, particularly over the impeachment. Of all the myriad sins Trump has committed, asking foreign powers for dirt on Biden fils, presuming there is some, is by no means the greatest. But it is one that senators understand, so it's one of the few issues that Republican senators might break ranks over. From a NZ perspective, Trump makes a pretty shitty martyr, but to his supporters that's not too much of a stretch.

    • Adrian Thornton 3.1

      Two facts of your's I agree with you on is that Trump has gone after one of their own which is a no no, although I doubt very much wether that will lead to Republican senators breaking ranks. Second fact I agree with is this is far from the worst thing a Republican POTUS has done..what about impeaching Bush over lying the US into a war that has cost hundred of thousands of lives for a start…wonder where the Pelosi was on that one…oh that's right, all those lost and destroyed lives didn't come up to the grievous level needed to impeach..


  4. Aaron 4

    All I see is the democrats getting their excuses ready for when Trump wins next year… First they'll shaft Bernie and then their nicer version of Hilary will lose and it will be Facebook's fault all over again.

    Don't get me wrong, I have zero trust in Trump and Zuckerberg but unless the democrats put up a candidate who actually wants to do something real for the voters this whole debate is academic anyway

    BTW, the idea that this is an existential threat to democracy is hilarious. Democracy in the US has been a sham for so long now I'm not sure how much difference this could possibly make

    • Phil 4.1

      First they'll shaft Bernie

      I don't have any particular sympathy for Sanders. He's only a Democrat when absolutely necessary (i.e. register in order to get on the primary ballot) and otherwise contributes nothing to the organisational/operational function of the party, so I understand from a 'personality politics' perspective why the democratic party functionaries view him with suspicion.

      • Dukeofurl 4.1.1

        No one shafted Bernie, he wasnt popular with Democratic party voters , or unions, or existing elected representatives.

        His only 2016 Union endorsements were, Nurses Union , Communications Workers,Postal Workers, NY City Transit Workers

        National elected Democrats ?, the fingers of one hand.

        Clinton had pages and pages of endorsements.

        Are we to have the falsehood of the 'Stab in the back' or Dolchstosslegende myth from the end of WW1 repeated again.

    • Siobhan 4.2

      Spot on.


  5. Adrian Thornton 5

    FFS.."Facebook already helped elect Donald Trump once because they were asleep at the wheel while Russia attacked our democracy" really?…Liberals will do or say anything to divert the public's attention away from the fact that their project is on it's last legs and it was the failure of their project that gave the world Trump and not Russia…yep Trump is Obama's legacy to the world pure and simple.

    "Trump and Clinton spent $81M on US election Facebook ads, Russian agency $46K"


    There is only one person that can beat Trump and that's Bernie Sanders.

    • Dukeofurl 5.1

      Couldnt even beat Clinton…even though he raised a bit more money , even from high value donors ( the maximum per person is $2800 wheter you are Trump or Sanders or Warren)

      • Adrian Thornton 5.1.1

        You really are a vehement defender of the establishment line aren't you pal, and just like them always talking in half truths and obvious deflections.

        As you well know Sanders came into the 2016 race a compete unknown, got absolutely ripped by pretty much all media, and most especially by your liberal press, got cheated by the establishment DNC and still ran the hopeless Hillary a close race.

        So I wouldn't be bringing that up that fiasco as a defense of your establishment line if I were you.

        I also wouldn't bring up donors in defense of Hillary either, one of the reasons she lost was the perception (righly) of her being brought lock stock and barrel by the wealthy elite..if those points are all you got then you got nothing.

        • Dukeofurl

          Cry me a river. The reality was Clinton was the establishment candidate AND won the democratic nomination. No surprise….

          She would have been exactly the sort of President she campaigned on. Im not a quasi -religous zealot like you who needs a messiah . If you were 30 years older you would be a Trumpanzee … pretty sure of that.

          Clinton is a politician not a perfect person, its not even a political system Im personally invested in. But I do know how it works, the highly decentralised nature , the rivers of money needed. you dont.

    • Stuart Munro. 5.2

      You want to be a little careful of spend comparisons – the Russian effort wasn't chiefly directed through ads, but creating and recirculating pro-Trump material. I'm not sure what getting Clinton's emails was worth monetarily, but the effect was significant, both directly and upon other election influencers like Comey.

      • Dukeofurl 5.2.1

        No one got Clintons "emails " she had a private home server.

        They hacked the DNC as has been pointed out it was a cloud system.

  6. Adrian Thornton 6

    We don't even know if it was the Russians who hacked the Clinton emails, and we will never know because Clinton never handed over their servers to the FBI.

    • Stuart Munro. 6.2

      This outfit doesn't seem to struggle to assign responsibility.

      • Adrian Thornton 6.2.1

        As usual another evidence free article, as I said earlier, we will never know the truth because the severs where never handed to the FBI (I wonder why?), so that is all conjecture at best.

        • Stuart Munro.

          So the evidence from the Ntyshko indictment cited on page 36 of the Mueller report isn't good enough for you?

          What high false standards you maintain.

        • Stuart Munro.

          The point I was trying to make before we headed off into the Russiagate swamp however, is that effective facebook campaigns are less built on advertisements than (often false) communities of interest. Some of these seem to have been created by the Macedonian circle for cash rather than political ends, but these echo chambers seem to be much more effective than advertising, possibly because advertising does not represent a community of belief. It is noticeable that contemporary National campaigns are as or more often spurious whine groups, as they are paid advertising.

    • Andre 6.3

      But her emails!

      You still going with the line the it was some random 400 lb incel sitting on his bed in his mother's basement in New Jersey? Or wuzzit Seth Rich? At this point, even those invertebrates with the cognitive functioning of filterfeeders otherwise known as Repug senators accept the reality of rooskie fuckery in 2016, but evidently that's still beyond you.

      • Adrian Thornton 6.3.1

        Show me the proof otherwise…

        • Dukeofurl

          Proof ? You dont know the difference between Clintons emails and the DNCs emails.

          A silly conspiracy theorist of the worst kind, the world can do with out your type of nonsense and claims of 'proof'

          • Adrian Thornton

            Yeah me and my outrageous claims for proof….

            It's is because of the likes of you and your conspirisory peddling pals here that the world ended up with Trump, what a bunch of gullible melonfamers.

        • Andre

          What proof would you accept? Would even Jimmy Dore's say so in a video convince you? Or would you just call it a deepfake, or reluctantly conclude the liberal establishment had turned yet another true hero to the dark side?

          • Adrian Thornton

            You know actual proof, that weird stuff you normally make informed conclusions from..I mean you know just because Maddow say's it, doesn't mean you have to believe it.

    • Dukeofurl 6.4

      Every bit of rubbish about Clintons emails Adrian is on board.

      The DNCs servers were hacked NOT Clintons. Absolutely no evidence her private email accounts based on a 'home server' ( there were different ones over time) were hacked at all.

      Clintons emails didnt contain classified information either ( some where public sources but under the US system were classified later, ie stuff like Drone strikes – thats an official secret but well known , a meeting between Israeli and Palestinian officials in a Gulf state brokered by US and on the news of Al Jaerreza -official secret.)

      • Adrian Thornton 6.4.1

        Every single tiny talking point the liberal establishment spin, you can be sure good ol' Duke will be there, parroting it verbatim like a good boy.

        • phillip ure

          i think duke is an algorithm…a neoliberal promoting/defending algorithm..

          • Dukeofurl

            You guys are no different to Alwyn and his swivel eyed loons , his rubbish based on fantasy …were you young nats once filled with grandiosity.

            I was going to link to the part of the Standard web site policy about posting absurd nonsense but its not there any more…

            • weka

              Yikes, I see what you mean. I'll let Lynn know.

              • Adrian Thornton

                @weka, Let Lynn know what?, that his site is full of aggressive Russiagate conspiratory theorists I hope..which is also probably why numbers a down these days I think.

                • weka

                  Let Lynn know that there are three pages missing off the header links on every page on the site.

                  Maybe calm down a bit Adrian.

            • Adrian Thornton

              @Dukeofurl..Well you are still on here every day, so obviously those policies are not being that well inforced.

            • The Al1en

              no different to Alwyn and his swivel eyed loons

              Definitely a whiff of the Ann Widdecombe's about when the talking gets to Democrat politics.

            • marty mars

              "Alwyn and his swivel eyed loons"

              Funny and sadly true – they just have zero debate at a point hrc and dems get mentioned.

              • Dukeofurl

                No one really cares any more about Clinton and Sanders in 2016, but I can see the same voices spouting myths from 2016 and repeating the same style of nonsense about Elizabeth Warren they did about Clinton.

          • Adrian Thornton

            Yeah I like that…the problem is how the hell do we turn it off?

            • phillip ure

              yes..but the algorithm well and truly trounced rosemary mc..when she sneered @ the internet policing successes of j. ardern…

              software does have its' uses – sometimes..

    • Dukeofurl 6.5

      "we will never know because Clinton never handed over their servers to the FBI."

      Hillary Clinton’s e-mail server turned over to FBI

      “It was picked up about 4 p.m.,” said Barbara J. Wells, a Denver lawyer who represents Platte River Networks Inc., a small computer services firm that has managed the Clintons’ private e-mail system since mid-2013.

      We can see how deluded some people are. They likely wouldnt know a server from a shoe

      • Adrian Thornton 6.5.1

        I meant the DNC servers…Clinton's emails have little interest.

        Comey: DNC denied FBI's requests for access to hacked servers


        • Dukeofurl

          "As we’ve repeatedly stated, we stand by the findings and analysis of our investigation, and, as detailed in our company statement, we’ve provided all forensic evidence and analysis to the FBI as requested. Additionally, our findings have been supported by the U.S. intelligence community and other cybersecurity companies.'

          Its the logs that matter . Any way the servers are a mix of cloud and server types , over 100 ,which where cleaned and rebuilt anyway to get rid of the Russians worm programs

  7. Sacha 7

    Talk about easily distracted.

    • Andre 7.1

      It's a rainy day. Waddaya expect?

      • weka 7.1.1

        A modicum of self-control? Or self-respect. God help us if this is what it's going to be like next year.

        • McFlock

          Well, calling back to the post, FB won't be trying to improve things. Which will have flow-on effects here, probably.

          Probably a good idea to stock up on liquor or one's recreation of choice. 2020 will be a doozy.

          • weka

            I'm thinking the mods are going to need some special edition liquor.

            • McFlock

              I must try harder to get my impulse to donate to the TS trust in line with the liquid portion of my pay cycle. Giving the mods a bottle or two would be a worthy cause.

              edit: lol after writing that I remembered it was pay week, so clicked the “donate” button… empty link in Firefox.

              • weka

                There's a bunch of pages that are blank, I let Lynn know.

                I'm sure he and Mike will appreciate any donations once fixed 🙂

        • Andre

          Who am I to argue against unrealistically high expectations?

          But seriously, I'm still grateful for the huge effort you put into containing this shitshow last time around, rather than let it splatter all across the rest of the site. Please don't feel like you need to do it again.

          • weka

            I will almost certainly feel the need to do it again, no reason to let this wreck everyone's enjoyment. My nightmare thought at the moment is that the NZ election might be the same month, or week, as the US one.

            • Andre

              Well, there is a convention in NZ that general elections are the last saturday in November, that held from 1957 to 1981. But since 1981 it's only 1999 and 2011 that have followed that convention.

              US elections are constitutionally required to be on the Tuesday after the first Monday of November, ie whichever of November 2nd through 8th is Tuesday for that year.

              Sorry to keep the nightmare alive.

              • Dukeofurl

                Not Constitution choosing the current date.

                "The Congress may determine the Time of chusing [sic] the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States."

                • Andre

                  That feeling when something you've just known to be true all your adult life turns out to be wrong … Still, that the date is legislatively set would make it easier to change if there's ever a movement to make it easier to vote.

              • weka

                thanks Andre, lol. I was working off the assumption that late November is the latest we can have an election, but fingers crossed Labour have a reason to make it September instead. We might even get really lucky and have a clear result on election night rather than weeks of the Peters bullshit.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  Memories of the relief at bullshitter Peters' announcement NZ1st was going with Labour are still strong – that and National's sustained disbelief.

                  I doubt Peters is the only reason for ‘transformation delay’ – he may have a propensity to bullshit, but at least he’s ‘our’ bullshitter!

    • marty mars 7.2

      A shocker all right – I really thought this stuff have gone under the bridge but it's another 9/11 tar pit.

  8. Dukeofurl 8

    "After a prolonged dispute between Sen. Bernie Sanders and the union representing his presidential campaign staffers, the two parties reached an agreement that will pay field organizers the equivalent of at least $15 an hour."

    Thats right Bernie you prolong that as long as you could

    • Adrian Thornton 8.1

      Good piece there, thanks for the link…

      "“Both the campaign staff and management have engaged in this process in good faith and to achieve a mutually agreed upon outcome. This is what democracy in the workplace looks like,” said Jonathan Williams, a spokesman for the union, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400.

      He noted that the campaign will pay its field organizers $42,000 per year for up to 50 hours a week, which works out to more than $15 per hour.

      Sanders said he was happy the union accepted his campaign’s offer.

      “I respect workers rights and I respect the union movement,” he told CNN. “I’m proud that all of our workers are going to be well paid.”"

      • Dukeofurl 8.1.1

        What part of long negotiations just to go from below $13 to the $15 ph that Sanders was campaigning on did you miss.

        "The agreement followed a union dispute that had dragged on since at least May"

  9. So far warren hasn’t put a foot wrong in her slow but steady growth of her support-base. More power to her.

    Warren is a seriously impressive person, and says much that resonates with me like a ringing bell.

    • Anne 9.1

      Had a close relative drop by recently. We briefly discussed the Dem. candidates. I mentioned Elizabeth Warren. He went into an hysterical rage. Doesn't know a damm thing about her of course but he watches Fox News – only in the name of "creating a balance" you know.

      Yep. He's an old white male who funnily enough doesn't seem to like any female politicians until they become the most popular choice then he changes his tune cos he likes to run with the majority flow.angry

      • The Al1en 9.1.1

        Then change the tune they will. lol

        9/10 – Economist/YouGov – Biden 25, Warren 29, Sanders 14

        8/10 – Quinnipiac – Biden 26, Warren 29, Sanders 16

        7/10 – IBD/TIPP – Biden 26, Warren 27, Sanders 10

  10. SPC 10

    Back in 1999/2000 there was an anti-trust action against Microsoft that ended with the election of George W Bush.

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