Facebook Decides to Take Down Trump 2020 Campaign’s ‘Census’ Ads

Facebook on Thursday removed ads by President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign that asked users to fill out an “Official 2020 Congressional District Census” because the ads violate the company’s policy against misinformation on the government’s census, Reuters reported.

The ads, which come from the pages of the Republican president and Vice President Mike Pence, link to a survey on an official campaign website and then to a page asking for donations.

“We need Patriotic Americans like YOU to respond to this census, so we can develop a winning strategy for YOUR STATE,” the ad read.

The online newsletter Popular Information, which first reported on the ads, said Facebook had originally said they did not violate its policy. Civil rights advocates said they pushed Facebook to remove the ads and Facebook confirmed it re-reviewed them.

The social media company, which has come under fire for allowing politicians to run misleading advertisements, said in December it would ban ads that aim to limit participation in the U.S. census, which officials and lawmakers fear could be targeted by disinformation aiming to disrupt the count.

“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 Andy Stone said in a statement.

Earlier on Thursday, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, slammed Facebook before it decided to remove the ads.

“I know the profit motive is their business model. But it should not come at the cost of counting who is in our country, so that we can provide the services and the rest,” said Pelosi, speaking at a press conference.

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