Facebook says it will remove misleading Trump 'census' ads

Facebook says it will remove misleading Trump 'census' ads
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Facebook will remove misleading "census" ads from President TrumpDonald TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump MORE's reelection campaign after criticism, a spokesperson told The Hill on Thursday.

“There are policies in place to prevent confusion around the official U.S. Census and this is an example of those being enforced," the spokesperson said.

The ads, run more than a thousand times on Trump's and Vice President Pence's accounts, urge supporters to fill out an "Official 2020 Congressional District Census." The link attached to the post redirects users to the Trump campaign website, where they are asked to take a survey and then make a donation.

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Facebook came under fire Thursday from Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi: House must pass 3 major pieces of spending legislation this week Sunday shows preview: Pelosi announces date for infrastructure vote; administration defends immigration policies GOP should grab the chance to upend Pelosi's plan on reconciliation MORE (D-Calif.) and one of the architects of the platform's policy designed to combat census misinformation for permitting the ads.

"This is, on the part of Facebook, a robust, unacceptable interference in the census," Pelosi said at her weekly press conference.

"Facebook must take the ads down immediately and actually enforce its own policy moving forward," said Vanita Gupta, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, an organization representing 200 civil rights groups which helped Facebook create its census policy.

After Facebook pledged to take down the ads, Gupta said in a statement, “While we’re gratified that Facebook shut down Trump’s attempt to sow confusion about how and when to participate in the 2020 Census, it’s disturbing that the ads weren’t immediately removed."

Also on Thursday, the House Oversight and Reform Committee called on the Republican National Committee to stop sending out campaign mailers labeled as a "census."

Facebook in December announced it would start banning posts with misleading information about the census.

The policy bans ads that "portray census participation as useless or meaningless or advise people not to participate in the census," even if they come from political figures, which are normally exempt from ad fact-checking.

The census, conducted once every 10 years, is used to allocate federal funding and determine congressional districts.