Is Facebook helping Palin foes break the law?

Owen Thomas · 09/18/08 12:40PM

Who says Facebook ads don't work? I've found myself mesmerized by a recent series: "AP Says: Palin Lied"; "Howard Kurtz: Palin Lied"; "Shame: Palin's Iraq Lie"; "WSJ Says: Palin Lied". The online onslaught on Republican vice-presidential candidate's truthiness has an algorithmic catchiness. Each ad links to a news story which casts doubt on some claim Palin has made — though not with the "PALIN LIED!" forcefulness of the Facebook ads which promote them. As much as politicians love to bash the media, they gladly use their stories to bolster negative political ads. But there's the mystery: Who's buying these ads? The Wall Street Journal identified the buyer on Monday as, a liberal political-activism group. But the ads are still running, and Facebook's website still doesn't say who bought them.That may violate federal election law.The Federal Election Commission's rules require that all "public communications" include a disclaimer:

MoveOn Goes "Viral" With Gross Pro-Obama Valtrex Ad

Pareene · 07/28/08 01:37PM

This pro-Obama ad is about how "hope" is a lot like a sexually transmitted disease. It is designed to reach to the Youngs, all of whom have herpes, especially in Brooklyn. It is by In order to make sure it appeals to those cold-sored 20-somethings, it feeds their bullshit pop culture nostalgia by featuring a guy who was on Boy Meets World and a lady from that vampire show. It will be the very first political ad ever to appear on Comedy Central where it is sure to convince to all those post-racial young Larry the Cable Guy and Carlos Mencia fans to vote for Senator Obama.

Hillary Clinton Caught Speaking Again

ian spiegelman · 04/19/08 10:49AM

"At a small closed-door fundraiser after Super Tuesday, Sen. Hillary Clinton blamed what she called the 'activist base' of the Democratic Party- and in particular-for many of her electoral defeats, saying activists had 'flooded' state caucuses and 'intimidated' her supporters, according to an audio recording of the event obtained by The Huffington Post. Clinton's remarks depart radically from the traditional position of presidential candidates, who in the past have celebrated high levels of turnout by party activists and partisans as a harbinger for their own party's success-regardless of who is the eventual nominee-in the general election showdown."

MoveOn Snags Area Funnyman

Pareene · 01/11/08 10:26AM

Peter Koechley, former managing editor of The Onion, now works for that 2004 throwback So everyone who still inexplicably receives their email blasts ought to enjoy his biting wit and trenchant satire as he begs them for money and encourages them to vote for whichever Democratic candidate's loss will be the most heartbreaking. [DC Examiner] declares Mission Accomplished

Nicholas Carlson · 11/30/07 01:03PM

Last night, Facebook revised its policies on Beacon, the online-ad format some critics say violate users' privacy rights. spokesman Adam Green called it "a huge step in the right direction," one that says "a lot about the ability of everyday Internet users to band together to make a difference." Never mind that war still rages in Iraq and George W. Bush is still in office. Hey, MoveOn, you win some, you lose some. (Photo by AP/J. Scott Applewhite)

Does Facebook hate Christmas?

Nicholas Carlson · 11/29/07 08:42AM

Is Mark Zuckerberg's heart two sizes too small? Is Facebook ruining Christmas? Ask Tasha Valdez and the answer is duh. Facebook's privacy-invading Beacon ads are totally the new Grinch. "Oh my gosh, my cousins entire christmas shopping list this week was displayed on the feed. thats so messed up. This has gotta stop!" You want more, you sick schadenfreuder? OK, but then you gotta vote for who really stole Christmas. Facebook deliberately obfuscates Beacon opt-out

Nicholas Carlson · 11/28/07 02:03PM

Facebook Beacon advertisements track user activity on the Web and alert your Facebook friends when you buy something on a Facebook advertiser's website., which won't stop moaning about privacy concerns, tells us Facebook deliberately made opting out of Facebook Beacon as difficult as possible for its users. Here's a video the activist group put together to demonstrate.

MoveOn's Facebook screenshot leads to promised change

Nicholas Carlson · 11/27/07 04:43PM

For now, Facebook only allows users to opt out of its Beacon ads, which target your friends based on what you do on other websites, on a site-by-site basis. But, the activist group protesting Beacon over privacy concerns, says it doesn't have to be this way. In fact, the organization told, screenshots leaked prior to Beacon's launch indicate that a systemwide opt-out was once intended as an option for users. Facebook only later decided to remove this option, it seems. Here's the evidence.

Facebook serving pornographic ads

Nicholas Carlson · 11/23/07 12:07PM

Is Facebook having problems keeping porn out of its advertisements? Seems so, according to this screenshot forwarded to us by a user. Our tipster also forwarded the screen shot to, the group protesting Facebook's new ads that tell your friends about purchases you've made online. So expect a shortened holiday for Zuckerberg & Co., or at least Facebook's ad-monitoring team. Here's the ad in its original context. Parents should keep their children away. There's no telling what damage repeated exposure to a woman's breast can do to young ones.

Facebook ads to tell your friends about your latest breast enlargement

Nicholas Carlson · 11/21/07 04:19PM

The progressive activists at have launched a protest against the Facebook ads that tell your friends what you're buying online. Since the story broke on, Facebook PR has responded. And MoveOn has responded in kind. Skip the canned statements and check out MoveOn's protest page on Facebook and bearing witness to the awkward situations users claim Facebook's ads have put them into.

Jordan Golson · 10/15/07 04:45PM

Last week, Google removed an AdWords ad criticizing spending habits in Maine because of a standing "trademark" order. Now, after lots of criticism, MoveOn has dropped their opposition to the ads stating "we don't want to support a policy that denies people freedom of expression." [Wired]

10 Online Ways to Save The World

Nick Douglas · 03/16/07 12:47PM

NICK DOUGLAS — Saving the world isn't just for doctors in Africa and technocrats in San Jose. They need funding, processing power, and support: and that's just what you have. You don't even need to move your lazy butt. Just stop reading blogs and Digg posts and take a minute to save the world using these ten sites.