House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called on advertisers to boycott social media even as the California Democrat has spent nearly $200,000 on Facebook ads ahead of the 2020 election.
Pelosi said Tuesday during a panel hosted by George Washington University that advertisers should hold media companies responsible if they do not do enough to police platforms better and remove disinformation.
“Some major advertisers and some not so major have begun to express objections to platform policies that promote voter fraud and violence,” said Pelosi, who lashed out at Facebook in February for not removing an edited version of her tearing up President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech.
Pelosi added: “We need to empower advertisers to continue to object and to use their power to hold social media companies accountable for their bad behavior. This is an undermining of democracy. It is a challenge to people’s health. It is just wrong.” (RELATED: Pelosi Tries And Fails To Badger Facebook Into Nixing An Edited Video Of Her SOTU Speech Rip)
Pelosi dropped $182,528 on Facebook ads over the last seven days, the company’s ad library shows. The Washington Free Beacon originally reported the ad buy, noting that Pelosi’s decision to take advantage of Facebook’s ads come as former Vice President Joe Biden ramps up a crusade against the tech giant.
Biden asked his followers in a Thursday tweet to sign an open letter to Facebook requesting the company “change its policies to crack down on misinformation in ads.” Facebook and other tech platform’s decision not to stomp out misinformation is a threat to democracy, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee added.
Pelosi and Biden’s criticisms came after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg refused to remove or flag a Trump post in May referencing “looting and shooting” and “THUGS.”
Trump’s post was in reference to protests against the death of George Floyd, a black man who died May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes, video of the incident showed. Zuckerberg reportedly defended the decision as an adherence to free speech principles.
Since 2016, Facebook created an independent oversight body, wherein the company’s platform can impartially protect free speech and create an arbitration system. The body is made up of a bipartisan crew of conservative and liberal judges to help determine whether specific comments, posts or links comply with Facebook’s terms of service.
Facebook named 20 members of the eventual 50-member independent oversight board May 6. Under the system, Facebook users who are unhappy with a moderator’s decision can file an appeal with the board, which will choose to take a handful of cases each year, a set up that Facebook has likened to the Supreme Court.
Pelosi’s office has not responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment, and Facebook declined a comment.
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