Judd Legum
Thu Dec 24 17:18:40 +0000 2020

1. I know it's Christmas Eve but people should understand what's happening with Facebook ads and the Georgia Senate runoffs.

These elections will determine the trajectory of American politics for the next two years.

Facebook's conduct is indefensible

Follow along if interested

2. The story starts on December 17, after Facebook begins allowing political ads in Georgia.

American Crossroads, a Super PAC run by Karl Rove and financed by Mitch McConnell, starts running a brutally dishonest ad against Raphael Warnock

3. The American Crossroads ad tells Georgia voters on Facebook that Warnock said "God Damn America."

As if he was expressing his own views. But he wasn't. He was quoting Jerimiah Wright in a speech he delivered on 7/11/13.

We tracked down the full quote

4. Here's Warnock's full quote: "Extracted from its theological and rhetorical context and looped to the point of ad nauseam was the most provocative phrase 'God Damn America'"

The ad claims this means Warnock "He repeated the same anti-American hate himself"

FALSE. https://t.co/GySDxvCtf9

5. It's really impossible to overstate just how dishonest this ad is. It's like Kelly Loeffler going on Fox News and saying: "Jerimiah Wright said 'God Damn America.'"

And then running an ad attacking Kelly Loeffler for saying "God Damn American"

6. Based on my Twitter thread on 12/17, one of Facebook's fact-checking partners evaluated the American Crossroads ad and came to the same conclusion: It misleads voters because it lacks context

https://t.co/Z7BJWO2JeN https://t.co/1kh3SJEOFf

7. It took them awhile but Facebook eventually removed the American Crossroads ads. Under Facebook's rules, politicians and parties can post false political ads but Super PACs cannot. https://t.co/iTo9pctUHQ

8. But on December 20, American Crossroads just reposted the EXACT SAME AD dishonestly attacking Warnock.

AND FACEBOOK APPROVED IT. https://t.co/Oj8PEhyit9

9. American Crossroads quickly spent more than 8K on this ad that was previously removed, and reached as many as 250K Georgia voters. https://t.co/KFZsmIoLYD

10. I exposed what happened on Twitter and, after a delay of several hours, Facebook took down the duplicated ad.


11. Removing the ad was what Facebook's policy required, but it was pretty disturbing that American Crossroads can just keep posting copies of the same ad.

So I emailed Facebook this question: What's preventing American Crossroads from posting it again?

No response.

12. Then, on December 22, American Crossroads posted another ad WITH THE SAME FALSE ATTACK ON WARNOCK.


This was a claim that was already removed TWICE by Facebook https://t.co/5VMNZSZMtj

13. I emailed Facebook yesterday at 10AM about this ad and have received NO RESPONSE.

The ad is still up, still active, and still is misleading Georgia voters.

It still violates Facebook's rules.

Facebook does not appear to care.

14. Facebook has 50,000 employees and had 21.4 billion in revenue in the 3Q 2020.

My newsletter has 2 employees and 0 billion in revenue in the 3Q 2020.

But I seem to care more about this than Facebook?

If you care too, check out my newsletter.


15. UPDATE: 8 hours later, these ads are still up. Haven't heard anything more from Facebook.

16. UPDATE: The ad has finally been taken down. Merry Christmas! https://t.co/BbmvO88lL7

Fri Dec 25 23:32:11 +0000 2020