Facebook Disliked: Environmentalists Challenge Ads for Senators

Photograph by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

A Facebook Inc. logo.

Facebook is getting disliked by environmental groups and progressive organizations such as Moveon.org in response to ads being run by affiliates of a group created by Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.

Moveon, Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters are among the organizations that said today they would not advertise on Facebook for at least two weeks.

Zuckerberg’s group, Fwd.us, was set up to promote a rewrite of U.S. immigration laws. It also funds Democratic-leaning and Republican-leaning organizations, each with their own boards of directors, running issue ads in support of senators who back new immigration laws.

The commercials, though, highlight other issues beyond immigration as they try to show supporters of overhauling immigration in a favorable light.

An ad praising Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, features him criticizing President Barack Obama for not approving construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which environmentalists say will increase the use of fossil fuels blamed for global warming. An advertisement backing Sen. Mark Begich, an Alaska Democrat, applauds him for supporting oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Former Sen. Russell Feingold, a Wisconsin Democrat, said Fwd.us has “chosen a strategy that’s condescending to voters and counterproductive to the cause” of enacting a new immigration law.

Sarah Feinberg, a spokeswoman for Facebook, declined to comment.

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