Facebook ‘favors’ for Obama campaign may have been illegal: Heritage Foundation legal fellow

By PoliticsFOXBusiness

Did Facebook illegally assist the Obama campaign?

Heritage Foundation senior legal fellow Hans A. von Spakovsky discusses whether Facebook helped Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.

The controversy swirling around Facebook’s mishandling of user personal data during the Trump campaign may shed a new light on illegal activities with the 2012 Obama campaign.

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In his latest Fox News op-ed article, Heritage Foundation senior legal fellow Hans A. von Spakovsky says the Federal Election Commission should take note on whether Facebook “favors” for the Obama campaign violated federal law.

“It’s illegal for a corporation to make a contribution to a federal candidate and that doesn’t just mean cash contribution, they can’t give in-kind services. They can’t give anything of value to federal candidates,” von Spakovsky told FOX Business’ Melissa Francis.

Carol Davidsen, the former media director for Obama for America, recently said Facebook gave the Obama campaign direct access to the personal data of Facebook users in violation of its own rules because they favored the Obama campaign.

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Federal Election Commission regulations prohibit corporations from providing an “in-kind” contribution such as a mailing list or something similar to a campaign.

“This is the same kind of data that the Trump campaign paid Cambridge Analytica to get. That indicates that Facebook may have given for free, valuable data to the Obama campaign [and] that’s potentially a violation of federal law,” von Spakovsky said during an interview on FOX Business’ “After the Bell.”

The former member of the Federal Election Commission said Facebook should have gone after the Obama campaign as it did with Cambridge Analytica after discovering the United Kingdom-based company reportedly sent a researcher to gather the data of Facebook users for political use.

“[Facebook] voluntarily allowed [the Obama campaign] to keep very valuable data and so that may be considered an illegal corporate contribution,” von Spakovsky said.

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