Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his political umbrella group, FWD.US, came under fire this week for funding a set of ads that promotes the proposed tar sands-carrying Keystone XL pipeline among other desires of the fossil fuel industry.
Think Progress reports:
FWD.US is bankrolling two subsidiary organizations to purchase TV ads to advance the overarching agenda — one run by veteran Republican political operatives and one led by Democratic strategists. The GOP-lead group, called Americans For A Conservative Direction, has created an ad in support of Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) which praises him for supporting construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and expanded drilling elsewhere. The ad, which does not mention immigration policy, also attacks Obamacare, “wasteful stimulus spending,” and “seedy Chicago-style politics.” Politico reports the group plans a seven-figure buy with this and other ads.
The other group, called Council for American Job Growth and purportedly intended to appeal to liberals, lauds Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) for “working to open ANWR to drilling.” The ad also does not mention immigration reform but does highlight Begich’s support of a balanced budget amendment.
In response to the ads, 350.org founder Bill McKibben said in an email to Politico, “It seems surpassingly strange that our highest tech gurus would be enamored of our oldest, dirtiest, crudest energy sources. Time to defriend tar sands.”
Several Facebook petition campaigns have been launched to urge Zuckerberg to curb his fossil fuel agenda.
Sierra Club posted a "dislike and share" petition campaign on Facebook stating, "Zuckerberg is bankrolling political ads that push dangerous, dirty projects like the Keystone XL pipeline and drilling in America's pristine Arctic Refuge. Click here to tell Mark to re-think his priorities: http://sc.org/FacebookXL."
Likewise, the CREDO Action Network launched a "multi-tiered campaign" urging Zuckerberg to pull the ads.
CREDO created a Facebook graphic that has been shared 6,098 times so far which says: "Hey Zuck, pull your ads supporting Keystone XL."
However, Facebook banned a separate ad posted by CREDO which "educated Facebook users about the CEO's support of an organization running pro-Keystone XL television commercials," saying the ads violated Facebook trademarks.
"Based on communications from the social networking company it appears that it's impossible to run an ad educating users about its CEO's political activities," the group stated.
“The people on Facebook who made Mark Zuckerberg a billionaire need to know that he is using his fortune to bankroll pro-Keystone XL propaganda," said Becky Bond, CREDO’s Political Director.
350.org and Credo are spearheading a protest on Wednesday at Facebook's main offices where they will deliver a petition calling on Zuckerberg to stop funding the ads.