Ocasio-Cortez Slams Zuckerberg, Pays Facebook Over $425,000 to Advertise

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez / Getty Images
October 20, 2019

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) on Saturday reiterated past criticism of Facebook, despite paying the social-media giant hundreds of thousands of dollars for her reelection campaign.

After winning a long shot 2018 primary, Ocasio-Cortez has been hailed in the press for her social-media savvy. On Saturday, she lamented the outsized role tech companies play in politics.

"I don't know about you, but I don't want Mark Zuckerberg making decisions over my life," Ocasio-Cortez said.

Ocasio-Cortez was speaking at a rally in Queens, New York, to publicly endorse Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.).

"We need to build a mass movement in America centered on the working class, the poor, the middle class, one that is actively anti-racist, that is rooted in principles of universality," Ocasio-Cortez said. "The future and our future is in a public system and it's publicly owned systems because we need to take power over our lives again."

The Ocasio-Cortez campaign continues to be a major player in social media, according to its third quarter FEC filing. She spent at least $425,000 on advertising between June 28 and Sept. 23.

This isn't the first time Ocasio-Cortez's campaign has poured massive amounts of cash into increasing her Facebook visibility. During the second quarter, she spent more than $250,000 on Facebook advertising. This spending occurred simultaneously with Ocasio-Cortez telling a Yahoo News podcast in April she was quitting her own personal use of Facebook and scaling back social-media use in general, saying  it's a "public health risk" because it can lead to "increased isolation, depression, anxiety, addiction, escapism." She also said in March that society "has a Facebook problem."

The Washington Free Beacon reported in mid-August that Ocasio-Cortez was just shy of spending $480,000 with Facebook over the preceding 90 days.

Earlier this month, Ocasio-Cortez said that Facebook's "reckless behavior represents a threat to our privacy & American democracy."

Last November, she also took to Twitter to slam Facebook, saying it had "clearly lost control of their product" for allowing conspiracy theories and fake quotes to stay on the website.

Earlier in the week, Zuckerberg defended the tech company during a speech at Georgetown University. The social-media giant, he said, is committed to "giving people a voice."

"[A]s long as enough of us keep fighting for this, I believe that more people’s voices will eventually help us work through these issues together and write a new chapter in our history—where from all of our individual voices and perspectives, we can bring the world closer together," Zuckerberg said.