Adriel Hampton

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Adriel Hampton
Alma materUniversity of California, Berkeley
  • Entrepreneur
  • political campaign strategist
Political partyNo party preference

Adriel O. Hampton (born 1978) is an American entrepreneur, strategist, and political figure from California. He runs The Adriel Hampton Group, a digital advertising agency that supports progressive causes.[1] In 2020, he co-founded New Noise Works, a video game studio.[2] Hampton is also the founder of The Really Online Lefty League political action committee (PAC).[3]

Earlier in his career, Hampton co-founded the analytics startup Pinpoint Predictive, the podcast Gov 2.0 Radio, and the progressive Facebook community Really American. He was an early member of the organizing software company NationBuilder.[4] In 2009, Hampton became the first person to launch a congressional candidacy via Twitter.[5]

Hampton is known for criticizing Facebook's political advertising policies, arguing that the social media giant doesn't do enough to combat false political advertising on its platform.[6][7][8] In 2022, he ran for Governor of California as a progressive candidate but withdrew before the filing deadline.[9]

Early life and education[edit]

Hampton was born in Modesto, California and was homeschooled. He is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation.[10] He worked as editor-in-chief of The Impact newspaper at San Joaquin Delta College, and graduated from University of California, Berkeley with a degree in Rhetoric. Hampton worked as an editor at the Lodi News-Sentinel, Alameda News Group, the San Francisco Examiner, and as an investigator for the San Francisco City Attorney's Office.[11]

Founding of Government 2.0[edit]

Hampton launched Government 2.0 Radio in March 2009 featuring an interview with Web 2.0 pioneer Tim O'Reilly. Hampton gained publicity for use of Twitter and Facebook in a 2009 campaign for the CA-10 seat to replace Rep. Ellen Tauscher is in the House of Representatives.[11][12][13] Hampton's campaign used collaborative editing, a form of crowdsourcing, to draft an anti-drug war policy statement.

2009 congressional run[edit]

On March 18, 2009, Representative Ellen Tauscher (CA-10) was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. Hampton announced his candidacy for the subsequent special election to fill the seat, receiving national attention for being the first congressional candidate to announce their campaign launch on Twitter.[14] During the campaign, Hampton prioritized support for single-payer healthcare, auditing the Federal Reserve, increased funding for public education, and capping interest rates.[15] On foreign policy, Hampton stressed his support for removing U.S. troops from Afghanistan and Iraq.

During the campaign, Hampton was supported by former chair of the San Francisco Democratic Party Matthew Rothschild[16] and Matt Gonzalez, the former president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.[17]

Hampton was defeated by John Garamendi, the former Lieutenant Governor of California.[18]

Post-campaign work[edit]

After his Congressional campaign, Hampton began working as Chief Organizer and Vice President of Business Development at NationBuilder, a Los Angeles tech startup that does work on, among other things, websites for politicians such as California Governor Jerry Brown and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. In 2015, Hampton left NationBuilder and founded a consulting firm, The Adriel Hampton Group. Also in 2015, he co-founded and served as President of Pinpoint Predictive, a San Francisco startup pioneering predictive personality advertising. Adriel's consulting firm specializes in digital advertising and community building.[19] Hampton's clients have included phone and email append provider Accurate Append, mobile canvassing app Ecanvasser, and the activist toolset Do Gooder. He is an adviser to VoterCircle.[citation needed]

The Really Online Lefty League PAC and opposition to Facebook[edit]

The Really Online Lefty League[20] (TROLL) is a political action committee (PAC) formed by Hampton. The rollout of the PAC, created in collaboration with the Institute for Progressive Memetics, included a fake advertisement for the Green New Deal.[21] The PAC gained recognition for launching an advertisement describing conservative Senator Lindsey Graham as being in favor of Green New Deal legislation to highlight the issues stemming from Facebook's political advertising policies.[22][6]

This decision was inspired by a congressional hearing in which Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez questioned Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg as to whether Facebook would be taking down ads from politicians that spread false information.[23] Zuckerberg replied that they probably would not, leading to the PAC to run this ad to test Facebook's advertising policies.

Additionally, the political action committee was noted for putting up digital billboards along the Interstate 15 in Utah as well as in other states with a photo of Zuckerberg and President Donald Trump with the caption "Trump - Zuckerberg 2020" in order to raise awareness to the potential impact of Facebook's advertising policies in assisting Trump's reelection bid.[24][25]

More recently, Hampton and TROLL, put out a YouTube ad against Congressman Ken Calvert[26] in the election for California's 42nd congressional district.

2022 gubernatorial campaign[edit]

On October 29, 2019, Hampton declared he was running for governor of California in order to run fake Facebook ads.[27][28][29] Stating that "we have some pretty serious issues of corporations now basically running society and I think Facebook is the grossest example of that", Hampton pledged that his gubernatorial campaign would serve to highlight issues stemming from the platform. A spokesperson for Facebook has since responded to his candidacy, stating that "[Hampton] has made clear he registered as a candidate to get around our policies, so his content, including ads, will continue to be eligible for third-party fact-checking."[30]

Despite Facebook's statement, Hampton successfully ran and promoted additional fake ads as a candidate, including one that suggested Sean Hannity was replacing Mike Pence as Donald Trump's running mate, and another where Mitch McConnell appeared to publicly support impeachment of Trump.[31]

Hampton has declared that his campaign is a serious effort, not just a symbolic issue campaign.[32] Hampton has stated that climate change played a major role in his decision to run for governor, arguing that incumbent Gavin Newsom is tied too closely to the Pacific Gas and Electric Company.[33] A supporter of Bernie Sanders's 2020 presidential campaign,[34] CNN has described him a "socialist tech entrepreneur".[35]


  1. ^ "The Magazine for People in Politics | Campaigns & Elections". campaignsandelections. Retrieved 2020-12-28.
  2. ^ "Anand Mallik is Building a Game to Fund Climate and Social Justice Work". RIFT Magazine. Retrieved 2020-12-30.
  3. ^ "California man runs for governor to test Facebook rules on lying". the Guardian. 2019-10-29. Retrieved 2022-11-15.
  4. ^ "Adriel Hampton is Joining NationBuilder". TechPresident. Retrieved 2016-07-17.
  5. ^ "Announcing a Campaign on Twitter". Politico. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  6. ^ a b "A fake Facebook ad that claims Lindsey Graham backs the Green New Deal is actually a test for Zuckerberg". Newsweek. 2019-10-25. Retrieved 2020-12-28.
  7. ^ Fried, Ina (28 October 2019). "Facebook pulls false Green New Deal campaign ad from third-party PAC". Axios. Retrieved 2020-12-28.
  8. ^ Morse, Jack (25 October 2019). "Facebook ad showing Lindsey Graham 'endorse' the Green New Deal is a sign of what's to come". Mashable. Retrieved 2020-12-28.
  9. ^ Chokshi, Niraj (2019-10-30). "This Guy Thought He Beat Facebook's Controversial Political Ads Policy (Published 2019)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-12-28.
  10. ^ Cheadle, Forrest (July 2009). "California Chickasaw running for open House seat in San Francisco district". Chickasaw Times. p. 16. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  11. ^ a b Farrow, Ross (2009-06-01). "Former Lodi journalist Adriel Hampton running for Congress". Lodi News-Sentinel. Archived from the original on 9 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-13.
  12. ^ Drapeau, Mark (2009-04-15). "The Social Media Political Campaign". True/Slant. Archived from the original on 2011-07-24. Retrieved 2009-06-13.
  13. ^ Vorderbrueggen, Lisa (2009-03-27). "CD10: The potential candidate rundown". Contra Costa Times. Archived from the original on 2009-05-30. Retrieved 2009-06-13.
  14. ^ Kraushaar, Josh (2009-03-23). "Announcing a campaign on Twitter". Politico. Retrieved 2019-07-02.
  15. ^ "Adriel Hampton For Congress - index". adriel.homestead. Retrieved 2020-12-28.
  16. ^ "What Supporters Are Saying … « Adriel Hampton. Democrat. Congress". 2009-06-18. Archived from the original on 2009-06-18. Retrieved 2020-12-28.
  17. ^ "Gonzalez and Leigh to Host Endorsement Party, Fundraiser for Adriel Hampton". Fog City Journal. 2009-08-26. Retrieved 2020-12-30.
  18. ^ Garofoli, Joe (2009-11-04). "Garamendi beats field for Tauscher's seat". SFGATE. Retrieved 2020-12-28.
  19. ^ Sean, Miller (2015-06-09). "New Firm Focus: Adriel Hampton Group". Campaigns & Elections Magazine. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  20. ^ "The Really Online Lefty League: The Digital Front Line for Human Equality". The Lefty League. Retrieved 2021-01-03.
  21. ^ "Facebook kept removing his fake ad so now he's running for office". Mashable. 28 October 2019. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
  22. ^ "This Fake Green New Deal Ad Perfectly Illustrates Facebook's Bullshit Political Ad Policy [Updated]". Earther. 25 October 2019. Retrieved 2020-12-28.
  23. ^ "Ocasio-Cortez Questioned Zuckerberg About Fake Facebook Ads". PBS. 24 October 2019. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
  24. ^ Kauffman, Gretel (2019-11-23). "What's up with the 'Trump-Zuckerberg 2020' billboards on I-15?". Deseret News. Retrieved 2020-12-28.
  25. ^ "Game on: Democrats vow to beat Trump on Facebook after it declines to rein in political ads". NBC News. Retrieved 2020-12-28.
  26. ^ TROLL. "Ken Calvert CA-42 Liam O'Mara Regina Marston". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-20. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  27. ^ "Man running for office so he can run false Facebook ads". CNN. October 29, 2019.
  28. ^ "California man runs for governor to test Facebook rules on lying". The Guardian. 2019-10-29. Retrieved 2020-12-28.
  29. ^ "PolitiFact - Candidate for California governor employs fake ads to protest Facebook policy". @politifact. Retrieved 2020-12-28.
  30. ^ O'Sullivan, Donie (2019-10-30). "He's running for governor to run false ads on Facebook. Now Facebook is stopping him". CNN Digital. Retrieved 2020-12-28.
  31. ^ "Facebook Has Run an Ad Falsely Claiming Sean Hannity Is Trump's New Running Mate for Almost a Week". Fortune. Retrieved 2021-01-03.
  32. ^ "A gubernatorial candidates strategy? Lie on Facebook". LA Times. 29 October 2019. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
  33. ^ Budryk, Zack (2019-10-29). "San Francisco man launches gubernatorial candidacy to run false ads on Facebook about President Trump". TheHill. Retrieved 2020-12-28.
  34. ^ Evan Halper; Matthew Ormseth | Los Angeles. "Sanders campaign heeds past lessons". The Guam Daily Post. Retrieved 2020-12-28.
  35. ^ "CNN: Adriel Hampton, socialist tech entrepreneur running for California Governor to fight Facebook - YouTube". youtube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-20. Retrieved 2020-12-28.

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