Facebook Removes Trump Campaign Ads Asking Users To Fill Out ‘Census’

In this photo illustration Facebook logo can be seen, Kolkata, India, 28 February, 2020. Facebook Inc on Thursday announced its decision to cancel its annual developer conference due to Coronavirus outbreak according... In this photo illustration Facebook logo can be seen, Kolkata, India, 28 February, 2020. Facebook Inc on Thursday announced its decision to cancel its annual developer conference due to Coronavirus outbreak according a news media report. (Photo by Indranil Aditya/NurPhoto via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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March 5, 2020 4:52 p.m.

Facebook has begun taking down ads from President Trump’s re-election campaign that asked users to fill out an “Official 2020 Congressional District Census.”

Facebook drew criticism for running the ads this week, which urged users to “respond now” to a survey.

According to Reuters Thursday, one of the ads read: “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.”

CNN also reported Thursday that questions on the survey include asking users to share their views of President Trump in addition to their age, name and contact information. The survey also inquired about users’ news consumption habits and whether they believe House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) “and the Radical Left are putting their personal anti-Trump agenda ahead of what’s best for the American people,” according to CNN.

In a statement shared with TPM, a Facebook spokesperson said that “there are policies in place to prevent confusion around the official U.S. Census and this is an example of those being enforced.”

Earlier Thursday, Pelosi said that she was “particularly annoyed” with Facebook for allowing the Trump campaign to run the ads that are “an absolute lie” during a press conference.

“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,” Pelosi said. “The beautiful diversity of America is what this administration fears. They want it undercounted.”

Last December, Facebook announced that it planned to combat misinformation regarding the 2020 census by banning ads that “portray census participation as useless or meaningless or advise people not to participate in the census.”

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