Ocasio-Cortez grills Zuckerberg over political ad policy

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezSanders wants one-on-one fight with Biden Impeachment trial forces senators to scrap fundraisers Ocasio-Cortez knocks Biden: He 'helped sell the invasion of Iraq' and 'spent years working to cut Social Security' MORE (D-N.Y.) grilled Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHillicon Valley — Presented by Philip Morris International — UN calls for probe into alleged Saudi hack of Bezos | Experts see effort to 'silence' Washington Post | Bezos tweets tribute to Khashoggi Trump says Zuckerberg presidential run 'wouldn't be too frightening' Hillicon Valley: Biden calls for revoking tech legal shield | DHS chief 'fully expects' Russia to try to interfere in 2020 | Smaller companies testify against Big Tech 'monopoly power' 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 John TrumpMnuchin knocks Greta Thunberg's activism: Study economics and then 'come back' to us The Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' What to watch for on Day 3 of Senate impeachment trial MORE’s campaign ran an ad accusing former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' What to watch for on Day 3 of Senate impeachment trial Sanders wants one-on-one fight with Biden 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 Ann WarrenTensions between McConnell and Schumer run high as trial gains momentum Sanders wants one-on-one fight with Biden Biden, Sanders tax plans would raise less revenue than claimed: studies 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.