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Liberal Groups Launch Ad Boycott of Facebook

FWD.us bankrolls conservative causes to win immigration votes

Mark Zuckerberg's push for immigration reform may have hit a snag. A coalition of nine liberal grassroots organizations—including Progressives United, the Sierra Club, and Democracy for America—pulled their ads from Facebook after Zuckerberg's political advocacy group, FWD.us, began running ads through subsidiaries for conservative causes like the Keystone Pipeline, drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and attacking Obamacare.

While the liberal groups support immigration reform, the strategy used by FWD.us—meant to curry political favor—really rankles. And although the boycott is unlikely to make a dent in Facebook's balance sheet, the groups are hoping to drive home a political point. 

"We're under no delusion that we'll bankrupt Facebook," said Josh Orton, Progressives United's political communications director. "We wanted to send a political message. We know we're not sending anyone to the bread lines."

FWD.us launched last month focused on advocating immigration reform. Tech companies, looking to hire and keep more highly-skilled employees, lined up behind Zuckerberg. 

Zuckerberg's group is reportedly spending seven figures in seven states, not on promoting immigration reform, but to support politicians in order to win votes for immigration. Through a subsidiary, Americans for a Conservative Direction, FWD.us took out an ad to support Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). Nowhere in the ad is immigration reform mentioned, but the Keystone pipeline is, along with slamming other progressive issues the liberal groups support. 

To add insult to injury, Facebook also rejected an ad from CREDO that featured a photo of Mark Zuckerberg with a headline asking him to stop pushing the Keystone pipeline. 

"We recognize that not everyone will always agree with or be pleased by our strategy. FWD.us remains totally committed to supporting a bipartisan policy agenda that will boost the knowledge economy, including comprehensive immigration reform," FWD.us spokeswoman Kate Hansen said in a statement.

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