A coalition of progressive groups announced Tuesday they would either retract existing paid Facebook ads or refrain from purchasing new ads for a period of at least two weeks as a measure of protest against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's new political group, called FWD.us.
Zuckerberg formally launched the new group last month to represent many of the tech giants in various legislative battles, from reforming immigration laws to boosting investment into education and scientific research. Progressives United, founded by former Sen. Russ Feingold, takes issue with FWD.us's "cynical advertising strategy" in supporting Arctic drilling and the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. Last week, Facebook rejected a critical ad purchased by one of the progressive groups that included a photo of Mark Zuckerberg, saying it violated the social network's policies.
"Facebook took the extraordinary step of rejecting our ad featuring Mark Zuckerberg's photo along with a headline asking him to stop pushing pro-Keystone XL propaganda," said Becky Bond, Political Director of CREDO, in a statement. "But the ads that truly need to be pulled are the cynical and ineffective anti-environmental political commercials that Zuckerberg and FWD.us are airing in South Carolina and Alaska."
"There's a whole lot to dislike about Mark Zuckerberg's decision to run these dirty energy ads," added Vanessa Kritzker, of the League of Conservation Voters. "Since FWD.us is continuing to bankroll ads supporting the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and drilling in the Arctic, we've stopped running our ads on Facebook."
Progressives United counts MoveOn.org, Democracy for America, CREDO, Daily Kos, Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, 350.org and Presente.org as coalition partners.