Twitter CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s former chief of staff is suing the social media giant for promoting a fake news story about him.
Mark Paustensbach filed the lawsuit on Thursday in federal court in San Francisco against Twitter, Facebook, and other internet giants.
Paustenbacher is one of several people who have come forward to allege that Zuckerberg encouraged his staffers to spread fake news in the run-up to the 2016 election.
Paurentenbauer, who worked as a senior policy advisor on social media policy at the company for several years, claims in the lawsuit that he shared false information about the former president in late 2015 and early 2016, before the election, that he believed to be accurate.
Zuckerberg responded by stating that he was “not a supporter” of Trump, according to the lawsuit.
But in February 2016, Facebook told the Federal Trade Commission that it “does not share or promote news that it finds false.”
Paustensbauer was later fired from Facebook in July 2017.
In his suit, he said that he left Facebook in June 2016 after receiving a “very hostile work environment.”
The lawsuit claims that Zuckerberg promoted false information that the former VP had called the “vast right wing conspiracy” and that he and other former staffers “did not report these false and misleading claims” to social media companies.
The lawsuit alleges that Facebook paid Paustinbach $2.7 million in 2016 and 2017, the most recent figures available, to promote false information.
The filing also alleges that Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives “intentionally deceived” the public in the 2016 campaign, by making false claims that Clinton would support a wall along the US-Mexico border, that the Clinton campaign had raised $3.6 billion and that a video was shown at the Democratic National Convention that showed Clinton praising the Confederate flag.
Facebook said it does not pay paid speech creators, and that Paustinsbauer has since been fired from the company.