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Facebook Removes Trump Ads Disguised As Official Census Messages

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Facebook removed an advertisement from President Donald Trump that looked like an official message in favour of the census, which would reignite the heated American debate on political ads on social networks.

“I just received an email from Facebook saying that they were going to remove Trump’s misleading ads”, tweeted Vanita Gupta, president of a coalition of NGOs defending rights (Leadership Conference on Civil and Human, Thursday) Rights).

The sponsored posts encouraged Facebook users to participate in the official 2020 census and redirected them to the president’s campaign site.

A Facebook spokesperson told AFP that “regulations exist to avoid confusion around the official US census, and this is an example.”

“While we are pleased that Facebook has ended Donald Trump’s attempt to confuse how and when to participate in the 2020 census, it is disturbing that the advertisements were not immediately removed,” said Vanita Gupta in a press release.

In December, Facebook announced its intention to prevent any interference with the census process in the United States, including on the part of politicians, who are usually spared the bulk of anti-misinformation efforts. social media giant.

“We must help ensure the reliability of the count, which is essential for the distribution of federal funds, the proportionality of electoral representatives and the proper functioning of democracy,” said Kevin Martin and Samidh Chakrabarti, two Facebook officials.

People who clicked on these Donald Trump ads found themselves on an online poll asking their opinion of the President, their age, name, and contact information. They were then encouraged to make a donation.

The Democratic President of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, teased Facebook on Thursday when the ads were still online.

“This is, on Facebook’s part, unacceptable interference with the census,” she said.

Facebook is accused by many Democrats of favouring the President and the Republicans by authorizing advertisements of a political nature, whether false or not, while all other content is subject to measures to combat disinformation on the platform.

The dominant social network only removes the content of political figures if they interfere with democratic processes (where, when and how to vote, the census, etc.).

Twitter, for its part, has chosen to ban all political advertising.