Campbell Brown
Campbell Brown is the head of Facebook News. Drew Angerer/Getty Images


  • Facebook’s head of news partnerships, Campbell Brown, is a cofounder of a media outlet that has published opinion articles sharply critical of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate who has advocated breaking up major tech companies.
  • Brown’s outlet, a nonprofit publication called The 74, is focused on issues around the US public-education system. Her role was highlighted on Monday by Judd Legum in his Popular Information newsletter.
  • A Facebook spokesman told Business Insider that Brown had “been transparent about her role” with The 74 “for many years.” Brown also downplayed the news on Twitter, saying The 74 discussed other political candidates too.

Facebook is on the defensive after news emerged that its head of news partnerships, Campbell Brown, cofounded a news site that has been critical of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.

Warren has advocated a hardline stance against big tech, vowing to break up Facebook, Amazon, and Google should she be elected president.

The news, first reported on Monday by the journalist Judd Legum, came barely two weeks after Facebook launched its much-scrutinized news service. Legum argued in his Popular Information newsletter that Brown’s involvement with The 74 raised questions about Facebook’s new news tab, which has been criticized for featuring the right-wing news site Breitbart.

Brown, a former NBC News anchor who was appointed Facebook’s news chief in January 2017, cofounded The 74, a nonprofit news site focused on issues related to the US public-education system, in July 2015. The site’s name refers to the 74 million children under 18 living in America at the time of its founding.

Legum described a roster of recent opinion articles as “savaging” Warren.

The 74 has indeed published multiple opinion articles criticizing Warren and her stances on various education-related issues. In an October 23 article titled “Elizabeth Warren’s Education Plan Is Exactly What We Need — If Our Goal Is to Make the Achievement Gap Permanent,” the writer described Warren as “a millionaire who raves about socialism.”

elizabeth warren
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democratic presidential candidate. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid


An October 10 opinion article described Warren as “the second coming of Karl Marx,” while one on October 24 accused the Oklahoma-born politician of positioning herself “against an institution” — the federal Charter Schools Program — “designed to create opportunity for our nation’s children.”

Brown defended her position on Twitter, saying she had been transparent about her role at the news site.

“The 74 is not part of Facebook News and the FB news team does not and has not supported The 74 in any way,” she tweeted. “I still care deeply about the issues The 74 covers so I remain on the board of directors w/no editorial role and make personal donations (it’s a nonprofit).”

She added that the site had published articles on other candidates too.

A Facebook spokesman told Business Insider: “The 74 is not part of Facebook News. Campbell’s work with The 74 is well-known and she’s been transparent about her role with the nonprofit for many years.”

The 74 did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

As reported by Business Insider