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Ocasio-Cortez grills Zuckerberg over political ad policy

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezHouse Democrats unveil spending bill to boost staff pay, maintain lawmaker pay freeze Five takeaways from New York's primaries Ocasio-Cortez says she ranked Wiley first, Stringer second in NYC mayoral vote MORE (D-N.Y.) grilled Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergTexas governor signs ban on outside help for election administrators Hillicon Valley: NATO members agree to new cyber defense policy | YouTube banning politics, elections in masthead ads | 50 groups urge Biden to fill FCC position to reinstate net neutrality rules Pink Floyd's Roger Waters: 'No f---ing way' Zuckerberg can use our song for ad MORE about his company's new political ad policy during a House Financial Services Committee hearing Wednesday.

The freshman New York lawmaker asked Zuckerberg a series of hypotheticals about what types of political ads candidates could run without Facebook taking them down.

"Could I pay to target predominantly black zip codes and advertise them the incorrect election date?" Ocasio-Cortez asked.

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"No, you couldn't," Zuckerberg responded, emphasizing the platform's policy of intervening in political ads when they incite violence or could lead to voter suppression.

"Could I run ads targeting Republicans in primaries saying that they voted for the Green New Deal?" Ocasio-Cortez then asked.

"Congresswoman, I don't know the answer to that off the top of my head," Zuckerberg said. "I think probably."

"Do you see a problem here with a complete lack of fact-checking on political advertisements?" Ocasio-Cortez countered.

"Congresswoman, I think lying is bad," Zuckerberg responded.

"So you will take down lies, or you won't take down lies? I think this is a pretty simple yes or no," she asked again.

"It depends on the context that it shows up," the tech executive responded.

Criticism of Facebook's new rule to give broad deference to political content escalated after President TrumpDonald TrumpIran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' Ivanka Trump, Kushner distance themselves from Trump claims on election: CNN Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs chairman clashes with GOP on critical race theory | House bill introduced to overhaul military justice system as sexual assault reform builds momentum MORE’s campaign ran an ad accusing former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSchumer vows to advance two-pronged infrastructure plan next month Biden appoints veteran housing, banking regulator as acting FHFA chief Iran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' MORE of using his office to pressure Ukrainian officials to drop an investigation into a company where his son Hunter Biden sat on the board.

Facebook declined to remove the ad despite the fact that there was no evidence to support the allegations against the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSchumer vows to advance two-pronged infrastructure plan next month Overnight Health Care: CDC panel meets on vaccines and heart inflammation | Health officials emphasize vaccine is safe | Judge rules Missouri doesn't have to implement Medicaid expansion Democrats urge Biden to extend moratorium on student loan payments MORE (D-Mass.), another presidential candidate, has been particularly outspoken against the policy and ran an ad falsely claiming that Zuckerberg had endorsed Trump to draw attention to the controversy.

Meanwhile, Facebook has defended the policy, arguing private companies should not make determinations over what political candidates are allowed to say.

Ocasio-Cortez's questioning of Zuckerberg came during a hearing focused on Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency project.