Tech

Vice News Able To Purchase Ads On Facebook Listed As ‘Paid For’ By ISIS

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Amber Athey White House Correspondent

Despite Facebook’s promises to crack down on hateful content and fake news, Vice News was able to purchase political advertisements that they claimed were “paid for” by ISIS.

Vice revealed the con in an article published Thursday, explaining that they submitted fake advertisements on behalf of several prominent politicians and the “Islamic State.” All of the ads were approved.

“In May, Facebook added a mandatory ‘Paid For’ disclosure for every ad that relates to politics or what Facebook calls an ‘issue of national importance,'” Vice explained, noting that Facebook announced the measure in the wake of controversy over Russian-bought ads during the 2016 election.

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 11: Facebook co-founder, Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg prepares to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill April 11, 2018 in Washington, DC. This is the second day of testimony before Congress by Zuckerberg, 33, after it was reported that 87 million Facebook users had their personal information harvested by Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm linked to the Trump campaign. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 11: Facebook co-founder, Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg prepares to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill April 11, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Vice submitted an ad to Facebook several times with different persons in the “paid for” category.

Facebook denied the ad when Vice claimed it was “paid for” by Hillary Clinton, but accepted it when Vice submitted it as “paid for” by Vice President Mike Pence, DNC Chair Tom Perez, and the Islamic State.

“To be able to submit political ads on Facebook, we were required to submit a valid ID and proof of residence. That means Facebook knew who was behind the ads internally, but externally, Facebook users would see was completely made up Paid For information,” Vice said.

Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers his speech during the VivaTech (Viva Technology) trade fair in Paris, on May 24, 2018. (Photo by GERARD JULIEN / AFP)

Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers his speech during the VivaTech (Viva Technology) trade fair in Paris, on May 24, 2018. (Photo by GERARD JULIEN / AFP)

A representative for Facebook said that approving the ads was a mistake:

Inaccurate disclaimers have no place on Facebook and these ads are no longer running. Our goal is to increase transparency on Facebook and prevent foreign interference elections which is why we have implemented the authorization process and released the Ad Archive. Enforcement isn’t perfect – and we won’t stop all people trying to game the system – but we have made it much harder and we will continue to improve.

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