Facebook will remove some of President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign ads from its platform, CNN reports. “There are policies in place to prevent confusion around the official US Census and this is an example of those being enforced,” a Facebook spokesperson said in an email to The Verge.
As first reported by journalist Judd Legum in his Popular Info newsletter, Trump’s campaign was running ads that asked people to respond to an “official district census” that linked to his campaign website. “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,” one of the ads reads.
The link in the ad describes itself as an “Official Congressional District Census.”
The surveys in the ads, which were not part of any official US Census surveys, included questions about what news outlets participants read and collected personal information such as age, name, and contact information, Popular Info reported. One question asked if survey takers “think Nancy Pelosi and the Radical Left are putting their personal anti-Trump agenda ahead of what’s best for the American people.”
Facebook’s 2020 census rules prohibit “misrepresentation of government involvement in the census.”
Pelosi weighed in on Thursday, saying at a press conference she was “annoyed” by the ad, which she called “a lie that is consistent with the misrepresentation policy of Facebook.” She added that she thought the Trump administration wanted to see the census undercounted. “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 Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment.