IL state senator calls out Facebook for 'fake news' in campaign -

IL state senator calls out Facebook for 'fake news' in campaign ad

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ST. LOUIS ( -- An Illinois state senator says Facebook refused to take down a recent political ad despite his claims it contained false information.

"There was little if anything I could do about it,' said Andy Manar, a democrat from Bunker Hill.

Manar says the ad, from the Christian County Republican Party, ran for several weeks on Facebook stating Manar had voted for a bailout of nuclear power plants. Manar had voted on the bill, but voted no.

"We did get though to Facebook and I'm going to paraphrase their response,” he said. “It's not their job to match votes of public officials up to news stories that are  promoted on their platform."

Christian County Republican Chairman and candidate for Manar's Senate seat next year, Seth McMillan, says he retracted the ad as soon as he found out it wasn't correct.

But the damage may already be done, according to a SIUE assistant political science professor.

"There is evidence that what people see on Facebook influences what they do at the ballot box and there's evidence that it not only affects them. If they like or share the story, it affects them as well," said Dr. Ken Moffett.

Moffett says social media is the new battleground for campaigns, but Manar compares it more to the Wild West.

"What's most alarming is there's a financial incentive for Facebook to allow lies, blatant lies, about the record of public officials to be told because the more provocative the lie, the more money they make on advertising," he said.

Manar ran into more problems when Facebook rejected his response ad because it had violated Facebook's policy of using another ad's content.

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