Facebook Refuses Biden’s Request to Take Down Trump Ad

October 9th, 2019 4:57 PM

Facebook is standing by its new approach to political advertising, despite sharp criticism from the left.

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign asked Facebook to remove President Trump’s ad on Oct. 8, according to The New York Times. The ad claimed that Biden, “PROMISED Ukraine $1 BILLION DOLLARS if they fired the prosecutor investigating his son's company.” Biden’s campaign wanted Facebook to take down the video and reject all of Trump’s future campaign material.

The Biden campaign penned a missive to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg from the Biden campaign. That letter put Facebook “on notice” and requested that if Trump, the RNC, “or other third party advertisers allied with the Trump campaign attempt to buy advertising or otherwise spread these lies,” Facebook remove them.

While CNN wouldn’t run the ad, Facebook took the free-speech stance.

Facebook denied Biden’s request, according to a letter obtained by the Times . Public Policy director Katie Harbath wrote that “When a politician speaks or makes an ad, we do not send it to third party fact checkers.”

Facebook did not take the ad down, in accordance with two new policies set last week. Facebook will neither fact-check politicians nor political ads.

This bothered Biden campaign manager Michael Carpenter, who tweeted, “Shame on you #Facebook for knowingly disseminating disinformation just so you can cash in.”

CNN had a letter from Biden’s campaign to Facebook which said, “The allegation of corrupt motive has been demonstrated to be completely false.” CNN wrote that “There is no evidence of wrongdoing by Joe or Hunter Biden.”

Biden campaign spokesperson T.J. Ducklo told CNN, "objectively false information to influence public opinion poisons the public discourse and chips away at our democracy. ... It is unacceptable for any social media company to knowingly allow deliberately misleading material to corrupt its platform.”

Presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) slammed Facebook on October 7, saying that “Facebook is now okay with running political ads with known lies.” The DNC also came after Facebook for allowing President Trump to spend $20 million on Facebook ads in 2019.