Democrat outrage forces Facebook to remove Team Trump's ‘misleading’ Census ads
Social media giant Facebook said it will remove certain ads by President Donald Trump's 2020 campaign, after Democrats and media activists complained they would confuse Americans about the upcoming population census.
The ads were titled “Official 2020 Congressional District Census,” but they directed respondents to a website used by the president's re-election campaign. The text of the ads, however, made it clear they were requesting data so the campaign could better formulate the election strategy in November:
“This survey is ESSENTIAL to our team’s 2020 campaign strategy. We need Patriotic Americans like YOU to respond to this census, so we can develop a winning strategy for YOUR STATE. Your participating in this national effort will provide us with the detailed data we need for YOUR CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT,” the ad said.
That was enough for the ads to come under fire from progressive activists, who claimed they were 'misleading' the public.
“In December, Facebook pledged to remove ANY content with misleading information about how to participate in the Census,” progressive activist Judd Legum opined on Twitter. “Now, the Trump campaign is running 1000+ Facebook ads promoting a fake 2020 Census.”
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi chimed in as well, slamming the ads as “an absolute lie.”
“A lie that is consistent with the misrepresentation policy of Facebook. But now they're messing with who we are as Americans,” Pelosi (D-California) said at a news conference. “I know the profit motive is their business model, but it should not come at the cost of counting who is in our country.”
Facebook has policies in place “to prevent confusion around the official US Census and this is an example of those being enforced,” Andy Stone, spokesman for the Silicon Valley behemoth, said on Thursday.Also on rt.com Trump to ‘look into’ Facebook censorship after site gags his social media chief
It was the first time Facebook has removed any Trump ads from the platform, leading a concerned researcher who has previously flagged the problematic ability of Big Tech platforms to sway elections to voice concerns about it as a form of politically motivated censorship.
“Facebook has been removing Trump campaign ads from its platform,” author Robert Epstein tweeted. “I'm not a Trump supporter, but I'm deeply concerned about censorship of this sort. Whether you know it or not, Google-&-the-Gang will decide who our next president will be.”
New: #Facebook has been removing #Trump campaign ads from its platform. I'm not a Trump supporter, but I'm deeply concerned about #censorship of this sort. Whether u know it or not, #Google-&-the-Gang will decide who our next president will be. #BeAfraidhttps://t.co/TRoCJeADac— Dr. Robert Epstein (@DrREpstein) March 5, 2020
Ever since Trump's surprise victory in 2016, social media platforms have faced a barrage of criticism from Democrats over their handling of political ads and content, while Republicans have raised objections over the platforms' response to such criticism, which has usually involved suspending, banning or throttling conservative voices.
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