WATCH: AOC Busts Mark Zuckerberg’s Double Talk on Whether Facebook Allows Campaign Ads With Lies


Hours into his testimony before the House Financial Services Testimony, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg squared off against one of his toughest inquisitors — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). And the freshman congresswoman held Zuckerberg’s feet to the flames in a tough exchange on campaign ads containing lies being posted to Facebook.

In a tense five-minute confrontation, Ocasio-Cortez quizzed Zuckerberg about the limits of what one could get away with in a political ad on Facebook.

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

“No, congresswoman, you couldn’t,” Zuckerberg claimed.

“But you said you’re not going to fact-check my ad,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

“If anyone, including a politician, is saying things that can cause — that is calling for violence, or could risk imminent physical harm or voter or census suppression, when we roll out the census suppression policy, we will take that content down.”

“So there is some threshold where you will fact check political advertisements,” she said.

“Congresswoman, yes, for specific things like that whether where there’s risk of harm,” Zuckerberg replied.

Ocasio-Cortez conjured up a hypothetical to drive home her point.

“Would I be able to run advertisements on Facebook targeting Republicans in primaries saying that they voted for the green new deal?” Ocasio-Cortez said. “I mean, If you’re not fact checking political advertisements, I’m trying to understand the bounds here — what’s fair game.”

“I don’t know the answer to that off the top of my head,” Zuckerberg replied.

“Do you see a potential problem here with a complete lack of fact checking on political advertisements?” Ocasio-Cortez said, following up.

“Well congresswoman, I think lying is bad,” Zuckerberg sheepishly answered. “And I think if you were to run an ad that had a lie, that would be bad. That’s different from it being, in our position, the right thing to do to prevent your constituents or people in an election from seeing that you had lied.”

Ocasio-Cortez wanted a straight answer.

“So you won’t take down lies or you will take down lies?” She asked. “It’s a pretty simple yes or no.”

“In a democracy, I believe that people should be able to see for themselves what politicians that they may or may not vote are saying, and judge their character for themselves.”

Watch above, via CSPAN.

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Joe DePaolo is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @joe_depaolo