59ºF

Facebook is removing Trump campaign ads

Facebook said Thursday it will remove some ads run by President Donald Trump's re-election campaign that it says ran afoul of its policies to "prevent confusion around the official US census."
Facebook said Thursday it will remove some ads run by President Donald Trump's re-election campaign that it says ran afoul of its policies to "prevent confusion around the official US census." (Shutterstock)

(CNN) – Facebook said Thursday it will remove some ads run by President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign that it says ran afoul of its policies to “prevent confusion around the official US census.”

Facebook had come under fire for allowing the Trump campaign to run ads this week on its platform asking people to "respond now" to an "Official Congressional District Census."

"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," some of the ads read.

The questions on the survey include asking users about their views of President Trump as well as their age, name, and contact information. The survey also asked what news outlets they read most, and if they "think Nancy Pelosi and the Radical Left are putting their personal anti-Trump agenda ahead of what's best for the American people."

Facebook has been criticized by Democrats for its policy of not fact-checking ads run by politicians, a policy that Democrats say benefits Trump.

"There are policies in place to prevent confusion around the official U.S. Census and this is an example of those being enforced," Andy Stone, a Facebook spokesperson told CNN Business.

Facebook announced in December plans to combat misinformation about the 2020 census, including cracking down on posts that create confusion or discourage people from taking part in the count.

The US Census Bureau is scheduled to send out mailers about how to respond to the 2020 Census later this month.

The Trump campaign declined to comment.

Earlier on Thursday House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had slammed Facebook for allowing the Trump campaign to run the ads, arguing they violated Facebook's misleading content policy regarding the census.

"I'm particularly annoyed today the actions of Facebook," Pelosi said at a press conference Thursday morning about the need to encourage all communities to participate in the upcoming census. She called the advertisement "an absolute lie. A lie that is consistent with the misrepresentation policy of Facebook."

“I know that profit motive is their business model, but it should not come at the cost of the counting who is in our country so that we can provide the services and the rest,” she added. “The beautiful diversity of America is what this administration fears. They want it undercounted.”

The ads were first highlighted by the journalist Judd Legum.