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Ocasio-Cortez grills Zuckerberg over political ad policy

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezSunday shows - Spotlight shifts to positive tests among Pence aides Ocasio-Cortez says Democrats must focus on winning White House for Biden The Memo: Five reasons why Trump could upset the odds MORE (D-N.Y.) grilled Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergLou Dobbs goes after Lindsey Graham: 'I don't know why anyone' would vote for him  Facebook, Twitter CEOs to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 17 Hillicon Valley: Five takeaways on new election interference from Iran, Russia | Schumer says briefing on Iranian election interference didn't convince him effort was meant to hurt Trump | Republicans on Senate panel subpoena Facebook, Twitter CEOs | 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 TrumpFox News president, top anchors advised to quarantine after coronavirus exposure: report Six notable moments from Trump and Biden's '60 Minutes' interviews Biden on attacks on mental fitness: Trump thought '9/11 attack was 7/11 attack' MORE’s campaign ran an ad accusing former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFox News president, top anchors advised to quarantine after coronavirus exposure: report Six notable moments from Trump and Biden's '60 Minutes' interviews Biden on attacks on mental fitness: Trump thought '9/11 attack was 7/11 attack' 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 WarrenAll fracked up: Biden's Keystone State breakdown What do Google, banks and chicken salad have in common? Final debate: War Admiral vs. Seabiscuit 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.