- Everyone needs a hobby, I suppose.
Facebook’s policy on fact-checked ads has put a damper Adriel Hampton’s plans, so much he decided to counter it… by running for governor of California.
Facebook, The Fact Checker
Earlier this month, Oct 28th, Adriel Hampton registered as a candidate for the governor election in 2022, but not with actually being governor in mind, but rather wanting to run false Facebook ads. Facebook allows people in or running for office to run ads on its web page. Which they don’t fact-check. The policy has drawn criticism from people who say that it will boost President Trump’s re-election campaign. Facebook was even asked by Former Vice President Joe Biden to remove a false ad by President Trump’s campaign ran about Biden and Ukraine, according to CNN.com. Facebook denied it.
Mr. Hampton’s Story
Mr. Adriel Hampton is a political activist who runs his own marketing in San Francisco. Hampton told CNN Business that he will use his new status to run false ads on Facebook about President Trump, CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg, and other Facebook executives. He also said he will bring false ads about Facebook executives on Twitter, which has no policy about fact-checking ads.
His Goal? Change The Policy, of course.
He admitted that his goal is to force Facebook to change their policy and to stop allowing the politicians to run false ads. On the 28th, New York Times reported that hundreds of Facebook employees recently signed a letter sent to CEO Mark Zuckerberg stating their disapproval of the policy. A Facebook spokesperson said: “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.”
“The Really Online Lefty League” PAC
Hampton is the treasurer of the PAC. They began running false ads on Facebook on the 25th, claiming Senator Lindsey Graham backed the Green New Deal. The ad spliced together different sections of a video. In the video Graham says, “Simply put, we believe in the Green New Deal.” Which Graham did not actually say. The ad was eventually flagged by the fact-checkers and removed. Facebook said that they may allow politicians to lie in ads, but they don’t allow PACs or other political groups to do so.
Mr. Hampton said he hopes that with him being a candidate he will be able to run false ads on Facebook, without being stopped. “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 said.
This Isn’t The First Time Mr. Hampton’s Ran Either!
Mr. Hampton ran for Congress in 2009, but was unsuccessful. He was the first candidate to run his campaign on Twitter. “I think social media is incredibly powerful. I believe that Facebook has the power to shift an election,” Mr. Hampton said. He said that his campaign will start accepting donations to run false ads. He also suggested that others could join him in his quest. “It is actually easy to file to run for office and basically one-hundred people could do what I just did.”
Does He Have Any Interest In Office?
While his main goal is to call out Facebook, Mr. Hampton said that his campaign will become a full-fledged gubernatorial campaign. “Don’t count me out!” When contacted by CNN, Facebook did not comment on Mr. Hampton’s run.