CNN

This man is running for office so he can run false Facebook ads

Oct 29, 2019, 12:35 PM
false facebook ads...
Adriel Hampton is pictured in San Francisco on October 28, 2019, after registering as a political candidate. Photo: Adriel Hampton/Twitter

(CNN) — 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.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Today’s Top Stories

CNN

Joseph Petito, father of Gabby Petito, speaks during a news conference on Tuesday, September 28, 20...
Jennifer Henderson, CNN

Florida judge allows lawsuit filed by Gabby Petito’s parents against Brian Laundrie’s parents to proceed

A lawsuit filed by Gabby Petito's parents will move forward, a Florida judge ruled Thursday. The lawsuit is against the parents of Brian Laundrie.
2 days ago
Immigration activists rally outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC on April 26. Photo credi...
Tierney Sneed and Priscilla Alvarez, CNN

Supreme Court says Biden can end Trump-era ‘Remain in Mexico’ immigration policy

The Supreme Court on Thursday gave President Joe Biden the green light to end the controversial "Remain in Mexico" immigration policy.
2 days ago
Justice Stephen Breyer and President Joe Biden....
Ariane de Vogue, CNN Supreme Court Reporter

Breyer makes it official: He’s leaving the Supreme Court on Thursday at noon

In a letter to President Joe Biden, Breyer said it had been his "great honor" to participate as a judge in the "effort to maintain our Constitution and the Rule of Law."
3 days ago
Image of the new summer treat: Ketchup-flavored popsicles (Photo courtesy of French's)...
Zoe Sottile, CNN

The newest, weirdest summer treat is a ketchup-flavored popsicle

A Canadian ketchup brand has launched an unusual twist on a popular summer treat: Ketchup-flavored popsicles.
5 days ago
...
Tim Lister, Julia Kesaieva, Salma Abdelaziz, Pierre Bairin and Jeevan Ravindran, CNN

Russian missiles hit Kyiv as G7 summit begins in Europe

G7 summit begins in Germany, as Russia hits Kyiv with a series of missile attacks.
6 days ago
American Airlines planes sit at gates at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) in Arlingt...
Chuck Johnston, CNN

More than 700 flights canceled Sunday

Across the United States on Sunday, more than 700 flights were canceled, according to the website FlightAware.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
This man is running for office so he can run false Facebook ads