Facebook removed advertisements from President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign that activists say violate the social media platform’s policies forbidding the spread of misinformation about the U.S. Census.
“There are policies in place to prevent confusion around the official U.S. Census and this is an example of those being enforced,” Facebook spokesman Kevin McAlister said in a statement Thursday.
The ads link to an “Official 2020 Congressional District Census,” which direct subjects to a survey.
“The information we gather from this survey will help us craft our strategies for YOUR CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT,” the ad concludes. It includes a button allowing people to access the survey, which collects identifying information about voters.
NEW: @Facebook is allowing President Trump’s reelection campaign to run ads directing users to a form that’s not the official #2020Census but called the “Official 2020 Congressional District Census,” as reported in @JuddLegum‘s Popular Information????https://t.co/IEKKFzxIDz pic.twitter.com/uYLpHkh4u4
— Hansi Lo Wang • 7️⃣ DAYS (@hansilowang) March 5, 2020
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others criticized Facebook for allowing the ads.
“This is, on the part of Facebook, a robust unacceptable interference in the census,” the California Democrat said at a press conference Thursday.
Pelosi routinely criticizes Facebook for being a supposed reservoir of misinformation. She tried to prod the company into nixing an edited video of Pelosi tearing up the president’s State of the Union speech. (RELATED: Pelosi Tries And Fails To Badger Facebook Into Nixing An Edited Video Of Her SOTU Speech Rip)
The edited video was posted on both social media platforms after the State of the Union in which Pelosi can be seen ripping a copy of the speech. The video is spliced together to make it appear that Pelosi ripped the speech after Trump highlighted each individual’s story.
American citizens who refuse to answer the Census or neglect to answer any of the question face a stiff $100 fine, or a maximum of $500 if they provide false information, NBC noted in a 2018 report explaining how the Census works. The Census Clause in the U.S. Constitution requires representatives be apportioned based on the answers people provide in their Census form.
Trump’s campaign declined to provide the Daily Caller News Foundation with a comment addressing Facebook’s decision.
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