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This man is running for governor of California so he can run false Facebook ads

A San Francisco man is going to extreme lengths to call out...

Posted: Oct 29, 2019 8:44 AM
Updated: Oct 29, 2019 2:15 PM

A San Francisco man is going to extreme lengths to call out Facebook's controversial policy of allowing politicians to run false ads on its platform. On Monday morning, he registered as a candidate in California's 2022 gubernatorial election -- not with the primary goal of becoming governor, but so he can run false Facebook ads of his own.

Facebook allows politicians, including candidates for public office, to run ads on its platform that are not fact-checked. That policy has drawn criticism from Democrats who say it will help President Trump's re-election campaign. Former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign wrote to Facebook asking the company to remove a false ad the Trump campaign ran about Biden and Ukraine earlier this month. Facebook denied Biden's request.

Adriel Hampton, a political activist who runs his own marketing firm in San Francisco, registered at his local post office on Monday morning as a candidate for governor of California.

Hampton told CNN Business that he will use his new status as a candidate to run false ads on Facebook about President Trump, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and other Facebook executives. He said he also plans to run false ads on Facebook about executives of Twitter, which also has a policy of not fact-checking ads run by candidates.

His goal is to force Facebook to stop allowing politicians to run false ads.

On Monday, The New York Times reported that hundreds of Facebook employees had recently signed a letter to Mark Zuckerberg also decrying the policy. Commenting on the letter, a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to CNN Business, 'Facebook's culture is built on openness so we appreciate our employees voicing their thoughts on this important topic. We remain committed to not censoring political speech, and will continue exploring additional steps we can take to bring increased transparency to political ads.'

Hampton is the treasurer of 'The Really Online Lefty League' PAC, which last Thursday began running a false ad on Facebook claiming that Senator Lindsey Graham backed the Green New Deal.

The ad spliced together different audio of Graham speaking to make it sound like he said, 'Simply put, we believe in the Green New Deal.' Graham never said that.

The ad was eventually flagged by Facebook's fact-checkers and was removed. While Facebook allows politicians to lie in ads, it does not allow PACs or other political groups to do so.

Hampton hopes that by being a candidate he will be able to run false ads without Facebook stopping him.

'The genesis of this campaign is social media regulation and to ensure there is not an exemption in fact-checking specifically for politicians like Donald Trump who like to lie online,' he told CNN Business.

Hampton unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2009, but was credited at the time as being the first congressional candidate to announce his campaign on Twitter.

'I think social media is incredibly powerful,' he said Monday. 'I believe that Facebook has the power to shift elections.'

Hampton said he anticipates his campaign will start accepting donations to run false ads and even suggested others could join him in his quest to call-out Facebook. 'It is actually easy to file to run for office and basically 100 people could do what I just did,' he said.

While his main motivation for running for governor at the moment is to run Facebook ads, Hampton suggested his campaign could become a fully fledged gubernatorial campaign. 'Don't count me out,' he said.

Contacted by CNN Business, Facebook did not immediately have any comment on Hampton's run.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 94573

Reported Deaths: 2870
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Washington219772
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Montgomery45820
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Carroll31412
Wilkinson30218
Kemper28815
Sharkey26513
Jefferson2449
Benton2232
Franklin1923
Choctaw1816
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 132452

Reported Deaths: 2335
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19306349
Mobile13233291
Montgomery8748177
Madison770978
Tuscaloosa7418116
Lee579261
Shelby578750
Baldwin514149
Marshall389244
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Morgan323926
Houston276423
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Blount158015
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Jackson154011
Chilton152431
Dale134644
Covington133427
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Pike11799
Chambers114442
Tallapoosa113885
Clarke107017
Marion95429
Butler91139
Barbour8517
Winston71812
Marengo70519
Lowndes65227
Pickens64514
Bibb63810
Randolph62713
Hale61928
Lawrence60522
Bullock59714
Geneva5864
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Monroe5808
Clay5547
Washington55113
Perry5396
Conecuh53011
Wilcox53011
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Macon47920
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Sumter43219
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Greene30315
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