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San Francisco man launches gubernatorial candidacy to run false ads on Facebook about President Trump

San Francisco man launches gubernatorial candidacy to run false ads on Facebook about President Trump
© Aaron Schwartz

Bay Area activist Adriel Hampton announced Monday he will run for California governor to draw attention to what he believes are pitfalls of Facebook’s standards for political advertising by running deliberately false advertisements.

The social media platform has come under fire for running ads by politicians and candidates without fact-checking them, refusing requests by former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenCornyn, Sinema to introduce bill aimed at addressing border surge Harris to travel to Northern Triangle region in June Biden expected to formally recognize Armenian Genocide: report MORE’s presidential campaign to remove ads featuring false claims about his connections to Ukraine.

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Last week, the “Really Online Lefty League,” a political action committee for which Hampton serves as treasurer, began running an ad on Facebook that splices together audio of Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) saying “Simply put, we believe in the Green New Deal.”

The ad was inspired by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezKerry: China described climate change as 'crisis' for the first time Left feels empowered after Biden backtracks on refugees Ocasio-Cortez: Chauvin 'verdict is not a substitute for policy change' MORE’s (D-N.Y.) questioning of Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHillicon Valley: Apple approves Parler's return to App Store | White House scales back response to SolarWinds, Microsoft incidents | Pressure mounts on DHS over relationship with Clearview AI Facebook unveils new audio features Hillicon Valley: Biden administration sanctions Russia for SolarWinds hack, election interference MORE, in which the social media magnate said he did not know whether a political ad would be permitted to run falsely claiming a candidate supported her signature proposal.

“I think we have some pretty serious issues of corporations now basically running society and I think Facebook is the grossest example of that, because it covers our corporations, our entertainment and our media,” Hampton told The Hill.

Zuckerberg is not his only target as a candidate, however; Hampton told The Hill he’s also seeking to draw attention to what he says is misconduct by Pacific Gas & Electric, which has been sharply criticized for its handling of mandatory power shutoffs in the state amid a series of fires, saying Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomGovernors call on Biden to back shift to zero-emission cars by 2035 NPR journalist discusses home affordability in California California Democrats weigh their recall options MORE (D) has been “the beneficiary of PG&E largesse for 20 years.”

“If you can run a campaign that’s against Donald TrumpDonald TrumpUS gives examples of possible sanctions relief to Iran GOP lawmaker demands review over FBI saying baseball shooting was 'suicide by cop' House passes bill aimed at stopping future Trump travel ban MORE, against Mark Zuckerberg, against PG&E, against Gavin Newsom, it’s a pretty damn good way to kick off a campaign for governor, and I think it’s a good way to keep these issues in the spotlight,” Hampton said. “I have kids and I f---ing freak out about what’s going on in our society. and I think this is something I can do to fight back.”