Provoked by a new Trump campaign ad, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) freaked out and decided to go after Facebook. “This is, on the part of Facebook, a robust unacceptable interference in the census,” she alleged in a press conference on Thursday.
In a quick response to her furious complaint, Facebook said it is taking down the ad, The Washington Times reported.
Trump survey draws fire
The Trump campaign ad was actually a survey distributed to prospective voters that encouraged them to “take the Official 2020 Congressional District Census today” by clicking on a red “take the survey” button and answering a series of questions regarding party affiliation, their level of support for President Trump, which media outlets they got their news from, and other bits of information.
Pelosi and other Democrats cried foul, saying the ad was purposefully misleading and confusing to people, some of whom might think the survey was the actual once-a-decade census conducted by the Census Bureau of the Commerce Department.
As such, Pelosi and her fellow Democrats pointed to Facebook’s new policy against purposeful misrepresentations and falsities in political ads and demanded that action be taken — which it appears Facebook did by taking down the ads in question.
“There are policies in place to prevent confusion around the official U.S. Census and this is an example of those being enforced,” Facebook said in a statement, according to the Times.
Pelosi blasts Facebook
For her part, Pelosi labeled the Trump campaign ad and survey as “an absolute lie” in her statement demanding it be taken down from the popular social media platform.
“A lie that is consistent with the misrepresentation policy of Facebook,” the speaker said. “But now they’re messing with who we are as Americans. I know the profit motive is their business model, but it should not come at the cost of counting who is in our country.”
Similarly, a group of Democratic members of Congress also called upon the Republican National Committee (RNC) to cease posting ads or sending out mailers that, in the view of the Democrats, too closely resembled the official documents of the Census Bureau — a tactic long used by Republicans for years, albeit now with a new twist via the inclusion of online ads and social media.
Dems try to counter Trump online
To be sure, it is entirely unclear if anybody who received or came across the Trump campaign or RNC ads for the survey were actually misled into believing they were filling out an official census form — but that is really beside the point.
This appears to merely be the latest in a long string of efforts by Democrats like Pelosi to counter Trump’s use of social media to reach the American people.
In this particular instance, it looks like Facebook was willing to dance to the Democrats’ tune.