Facebook "likes" Keystone XL

SUBHEAD: Mark Zuckerberg’s political group funds ads promoting Keystone and ANWR drilling .

By John Upton on 30 April 2013 for Grist Magazine -

Image above: Detail of haracture of Mark Zuckerberg by Mechaniac.  From (http://mechaniac.deviantart.com/art/Mark-Zuckerberg-207213713).

Activist cell-phone company CREDO tried to run an advertisement on Facebook calling on Facebook’s founder to stop running TV ads that support the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

Guess whether the social media giant liked that idea.

Facebook quickly rejected the ad, saying it violated its advertising policies.

We told you last week about FWD.US, a political group cofounded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to push for immigration reform. One of the group’s subsidiaries is running an ad praising Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) in which Graham voices his support for Keystone XL and drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, along with his opposition to “ObamaCare.” The ad is apparently attempting to bolster the lawmaker’s support among conservatives, which is jeopardized by his support of immigration reform. An ad financed by another FWD.US subsidiary supports Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), praising him for pursuing oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

But Facebook does not want its billion or so users hearing from its opponents on this issue.

From The Washington Post:
The ad was rejected when CREDO tried to post it to the social network. According to an e-mail the company received from Facebook, the ad violates Facebook policies because it uses Zuckerberg’s image.

Facebook policies do state that it will reject ads that contain Facebook logos, icons or trademarked images in a way that falls outside of its usage guidelines or if the advertisements incorrectly imply the social network has given its “partnership, sponsorship or endorsement” to the ad.

In a statement, Facebook said it generally rejects “ads that contain Mark’s image because — not surprisingly — in our experience those ads tend to be confusing for users, and frequently misleading. Users may click on the ad thinking it is a message from Mark or from Facebook, not understanding that they are actually in an advertisement seeking to take advantage of Mark’s image.”
CREDO isn’t the only group taking to Facebook to object to the Graham and Begich ads. From Politico:
The Sierra Club is taking a similar approach. The environmental group encouraged its members Monday to share a note that says, “Zuckerberg promoting dirty fuels? DISLIKE.”
The critics say they are infuriated that a group backed by Zuckerberg and green-minded venture capitalists like John Doerr could be supporting ads that tout oil drilling.
Meanwhile, Keystone XL opponents are planning a protest today that will be harder for Facebook to simply squash. The protest will be conducted the old-fashioned way, in person, outside of Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.

Go ahead and post this story on Facebook — the image of the banned advertisement should show up automatically. And let us know in our comment section below whether the Facebook overlords take it down.

• John Upton is a science aficionado and green news junkie who tweets, posts articles to Facebook, and blogs about ecology. He welcomes reader questions, tips, and incoherent rants: johnupton@gmail.com

Facebook likes Drilling in ANWR
SUBHEAD: Mark Zuckerberg’s new political group spending big on ads pupporting Keystone XL and oil drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

By Josh Israel & Judd Legum on 26 April 2013 for ThinkProgress - 

Mark Zuckerberg’s new political group, which bills itself as a bipartisan entity dedicated to passing immigration reform, has spent considerable resources on ads advocating a host of anti-environmental causes — including driling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and constructing the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

The umbrella group, co-founded by Facebook’s Zuckerberg, NationBuilder’s co-founder Joe Green, LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman, Dropbox’s Drew Houston, and others in the tech industry, is called FWD.US. Its initial priority is the passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill, including enhanced border security, more visas for workers with special skills, and a pathway to citizenship for those living in the U.S. without legal status. Other long-term priorities for the group include education reform and expanded scientific research.

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.

The group’s forceful advocacy for expanded drilling and pipeline construction is surprising given Zuckerberg’s public statements about the purpose of the group. In an introductory column, Zuckerberg said that the group would be dedicated to “building the knowledge economy,” which he contrasts to “the economy of the last century… primarily based on natural resources.” Zuckerberg adds, “there are only so many oil fields, and there is only so much wealth that can be created from them for society.”

Both ads appear to be trying to give political cover to vulnerable centrists, in hopes of ensuring their support for major immigration reform — though Graham’s support seems certain as he is a member of the Gang of Eight pushing the measure. But the proposals already enjoy broad popularity among both Republicans and the public overall.

In the past, Zuckerberg has emphasized the importance of moving from dirty fossil fuels to clean renewable energy.

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