Can 800,000 Palin Facebook fans be wrong? Liberal group calls her a liar
In response, the liberal group Americans United For Change took the fight right back to Palin -- and more importantly, to the 827,000 Facebook supporters of the former Alaska governor and vice-presidential nominee.
The group purchased an ad viewable "to anyone interested in 'Sarah Palin,'" according to Facebook, which includes Palin's picture and the following words underneath: "Health insurance reform is too important for outright lies; tell her to stop lying about death panels."
The liberal group's use of Facebook's highly targeted advertising platform underscores the increasing sophistication of online advertising systems, which let businesses, politicians, and interest groups direct their messages to hyper-specific audiences that share certain interests or characteristics.
Jeremy Funk, a spokesperson for Americans United For Change, says it's only natural to target Palin's Facebook fans, considering that Facebook was where she introduced her death-panel remarks. "Sarah Palin has gone from being the governor of a U.S. state to being a Facebooker and Tweeter," Funk says. "It's absurd. So we came up with a plan where we can target folks who are Facebook fans of hers."
"The right-wing lynch mob has been spreading complete falsehoods as part of a concerted effort to kill health-care reform," Funk adds. "This is just another example of Sarah Palin being completely misinformed about just about everything."
The firestorm erupted with Palin's Facebook note from August 7. "The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care," the note read. "Such a system is downright evil."
Numerous media outlets, including ABC News, have debunked the "death panel" assertion. SarahPAC, Palin's fundraising operation, did not return a request for comment on AUC's ads. A Facebook spokesman says that although advertisers can't target fans of someone else's page, an advertiser can target an ad to anyone interested in the topic of "Sarah Palin" -- including anyone visiting her page, or searching for her.
Funk said his group had paid less than $10,000 for its Facebook ad, and that it has received some rather testy e-mail from Palin supporters. "The American people urge you and your Marxist community organizers to stop lying about HR 3200," one message read. Another said: "Sarah Palin for President you left wing socialist faggot. The uprising has begun, We are the majority. You can have my gun when you pry it from my cold dead hand."
One Facebook user, Richard Laycock of El Cajon, California -- who wrote Funk to say, "You're the f'ing liar" -- says, "I follow all this stuff, and I know when people are telling the truth. Palin was 100 percent right with what she said about the death panels. Americans United For Change are the liars here."
Asked why he called Funk a "f'ing liar," Laycock says, "Liars are not worthy of debating with."