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Warren calls out Facebook for refusing to remove anti-Biden ad

Warren calls out Facebook for refusing to remove anti-Biden ad
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Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenInequality of student loan debt underscores possible Biden policy shift Thomas Piketty says pandemic is opportunity to address income inequality The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation MORE (D-Mass.) blasted Facebook Wednesday for its refusal to remove an ad from President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rages against '60 Minutes' for interview with Krebs Cornyn spox: Neera Tanden has 'no chance' of being confirmed as Biden's OMB pick Pa. lawmaker was informed of positive coronavirus test while meeting with Trump: report MORE's campaign attacking former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump rages against '60 Minutes' for interview with Krebs Cornyn spox: Neera Tanden has 'no chance' of being confirmed as Biden's OMB pick Five things to know about Georgia's Senate runoffs MORE's efforts to oust a prosecutor in Ukraine.

The ad implies Biden sought to fire the prosecutor because he had been investigating the company where Biden's son served as a board member. 

There's no evidence showing Biden sought to fire the prosecutor to protect his son. The Obama administration repeatedly said it sought to oust the prosecutor because of concerns he was not doing enough to root out corruption.

“Facebook already helped elect Donald Trump once. Now, they're deliberately allowing a candidate to intentionally lie to the American people. This is a serious threat to our democracy,” Warren tweeted Wednesday. “We need transparency and accountability from Facebook.”

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Facebook announced this week that it would not remove the 30-second video from the Trump campaign, saying its decision was “grounded in Facebook's fundamental belief in free expression, respect for the democratic process, and belief that in mature democracies with a free press, political speech is already arguably the most scrutinized speech there is.”

Trump’s attempts in a July call to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the Bidens is at the heart of a whistleblower complaint that led to House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry against him.

CNN said last week it would refuse to run one of the ads from the Trump campaign attacking Biden because it did not meet its advertising standards.

Warren has stepped up her criticism of Facebook in recent days in the wake of a leaked recording of CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergDemocrats urge YouTube to remove election misinformation, step up efforts ahead of Georgia runoff Democrats press Facebook, Twitter on misinformation efforts ahead of Georgia runoff Hillicon Valley: Facebook content moderators demand more workplace protections | Ousted cyber official blasts Giuliani press conference | Tech firms fall short on misinformation targeting Latino vote MORE in which he vowed the company would “go to the mat” in the event of a potential Warren administration investigating the company.

“Facebook has incredible power to affect elections and our national debate. Mark Zuckerberg is telling employees that he views a Warren administration as an ‘existential’ threat to Facebook,” she tweeted Monday. “The public deserves to know how Facebook intends to use their influence in this election.”

The Hill has reached out to Facebook for comment.

In a blog post in September, Facebook Vice President of Global Affairs and Communications Nick Clegg wrote, "We rely on third-party fact-checkers to help reduce the spread of false news and other types of viral misinformation, like memes or manipulated photos and videos."

"We don’t believe, however, that it’s an appropriate role for us to referee political debates and prevent a politician’s speech from reaching its audience and being subject to public debate and scrutiny," he added. 

Facebook and other social media platforms came under intense scrutiny in 2016 after Russia was found to have launched a disinformation campaign in the lead-up to the election.