New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (hereinafter referred to as AOC) made headlines on Tuesday with a hot tweet in response to the news of Facebook’s name change. Facebook’s name change represents a major reshaping of the social networking company’s image. The name was changed from Facebook to Meta.
This is the result of the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s hope to reposition the company around the concept of “Meta”. But AOC, one of the most consistently opposed Facebook politicians in Congress, disagrees. She wrote on Twitter: “Yuan” is like ‘we are the cancer of democracy and are being transferred to a global surveillance and propaganda machine to promote authoritarian regimes and undermine civil society… for profit! ’”
However, what her tweet did not make it clear is that the congresswoman’s campaign has greatly increased the profitability of Facebook, which she criticized. In fact, Facebook’s ad library shows that AOC has spent millions of dollars in advertising on the company’s services. This included her new AOC fundraising campaign on Facebook and Instagram the day before she compared the company to cancer in her tweet.
AOC’s Facebook Ads
“To carry out such a campaign requires huge resources, and we must reach our fundraising goals to continue these efforts. If you have the ability to support the campaign we are building, can you make up to $3 today?” The advertisement paid by the AOC Congressional Campaign team reads. It started running on Facebook and Instagram on October 27th.
According to Facebook’s records, the AOC team spent between $200,000 and $299,000 on 27 ad variants.
Is this hypocritical? Does this reflect that Facebook is such a pervasive force that a good politician cannot resist cooperation with it? Of course, the answer depends on who you ask.
Former Buzzfeed editor Tom Gara now works at Facebook, and he responded to a conversation about this issue on Twitter, “Obviously, I am very satisfied with AOC using FB to find donors and organizations/information, etc.! I think this is weird, ** Say it is a cancer that destroys democracy.”
Also participating in the same Twitter discussion was writer Zeynep Tufekci. She said that what AOC is doing is more like people who understand that cars are a long-term net negative value for the environment, but they also realize that cars must be available in certain parts of the country.
More supporters of overseeing technology giants
AOC’s criticism of Facebook has indeed been increasing throughout the year. Among them, after the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, she partly accused Facebook and Zuckerberg herself.
Even so, although she has been using Facebook tools like this for some time, she is not the only one. There are also some Facebook critics in Congress, but they still use the company’s products to win elections. And they rely on these products to a certain extent to continue their positions.
For example, controversial Georgia Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene described big technology companies such as Facebook as “Silicon Valley Cartels.” In addition, she also magnified the attack line that is often popular among right-wing people-saying that Facebook engages in anti-conservative bias. According to reports, in addition to holding Facebook shares with her husband, Business Insider reported that Greene spent $45,434 on Facebook ads so far in 2021 (at least until August). Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, is another critic of major technology companies. According to reports, his campaign team spent nearly $65,000 in advertising on Facebook in the second quarter.
There are other examples, including Texas Republican Congressman Dan Crenshaw. He also lamented the technology censorship system, but this year he spent more than $103,000 on Facebook ads.
Not surprisingly, the New York congresswoman compared it to cancer after Facebook announced the name change and received great attention and reports.