Progressive groups unfriended Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg en masse on Tuesday, hoping to get the point across that they do not appreciate his new pro-immigration group praising senators for supporting the Keystone XL pipeline and opposing the Affordable Care Act.
Led by Progressives United, the advocacy group launched by former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), Daily Kos, The Sierra Club, MoveOn.org, Democracy for America, the League of Conservation Voters, 350.org, Credo Mobile and Presente.org all announced Tuesday morning that they pulled all their ads off Facebook in protest of Zuckerberg’s group, FWD.us.
Credo Mobile even went so far as to give Facebook money to run an ad urging Zuckerberg to stop flacking for Keystone XL supporters, but Facebook rejected the ad because it featured a photo of the site’s billionaire founder.
FWD.us, while ostensibly focused on immigration reform, put its money into two organizations designed to appeal to both Republicans and Democrats. However, ads produced by Americans for A Conservative Direction and the Council for American Job Growth have nothing to do with immigration reform, and instead praise senators like Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Mark Begich (D-AK) for supporting the oil industry’s agenda.
The ads are no longer on the air.
“FWD.us is committed to showing support for elected officials who promote the policy changes needed to build the knowledge economy,” a spokesperson told Think Progress in April. “Maintaining two separate entities, Americans for a Conservative Direction & the Council for American Job Growth, to support elected officials across the political spectrum – separately – means that we can more effectively communicate with targeted audiences of their constituents.”
Feingold, however, didn’t buy it. “Leaders in the technology community have every right to talk about how immigration reform will benefit their businesses,” he said in prepared text. “But instead, FWD.us has chosen a strategy that’s condescending to voters and counterproductive to the cause of reform.”
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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