After announcing they would not block political Facebook ads over content, Facebook announced they were banning a group of ads placed by President Trump’s re-election campaign, accusing them of being “confusing.”
“Facebook said it will remove ads from President Donald Trump that invoked the U.S. Census when directing people to his reelection campaign’s website, saying they violated policies against causing confusion about the nationwide count,” POLITICO reports.
The ads in question offered users the chance to take part in a survey, called a “Congressional District Census.”
“Census” is a common term for a mass count, and the Republican National Committee has mailed out millions of “census” surveys for over 20 years. The Trump ads in no way claimed to be affiliated Census Bureau.
“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.
Just days earlier Facebook announced they would not ban the ad, because it was not false and did not advocate violence or illegal activity.
The social media giant quickly backed down however, after a coordinated liberal pressure campaign from activists who hoped to censor Trump ads.
The charge was led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who used her position to pressure Facebook.
“I’m particularly annoyed today the actions of Facebook,” Pelosi said at a press conference Thursday morning.
Pelosi directly targeted Facebook, invoking the possibility their actions were illegal. She called the Trump ads “an absolute lie. A lie that is consistent with the misrepresentation policy of Facebook.”
“We told them to take down that site,” Pelosi said. “It’s a lie and it undermines who are are [sic]. It may be good for their profits, but that’s what counts for them. It’s not what counts for us and the Census.”
Facebook, fearing potential investigation, reversed its own policy and banned Trump’s ads.