Facebook and Instagram have authorized and profited from advertising pushing the false Ukraine-US biolabs conspiracy theory

Yet another advertisement, on Facebook, features a video of a woman saying about Ukraine: “There are biolabs there, they talk about it in the news today. The United States has them there. And so there are strategic reasons why Ukraine is important, which I understand, and I can understand why civilians in Russia would understand where their leader is coming from.

A Facebook ad features a video of a man saying, “They actually say biolabs exist,” adding that he “believes they exist.” Another man agreed with him, saying, “I believe they do too. Because someone’s trying to pull him out, and someone’s trying to bury him.

Another ad, whose listing in the Facebook ad library specifies the paid range for its broadcast, ran for one day on Facebook and Instagram. The ad featured a video of a man saying there was “evidence of US involvement in biolabs found there in Ukraine” and attacking PolitiFact for debunking the conspiracy theory, claiming that the media is a “propaganda arm of the progressive left”. This means that Meta made money from advertising not only by pushing the conspiracy theory, but also by explicitly attacking one of its third-party fact checkers. And the same account ran another ad on Facebook and Instagram (the listing of which in the Facebook ad library also specifies the paid range for it to run) with a video with the same man saying the House of Representatives has passed a bill that “includes an astonishing $15 billion to Ukraine, you know, so we can protect our investment in Ukrainian biolabs.

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