Facebook Blocks Trump Ads Encouraging People to ‘Vote Today’
The 2020 Election Facebook page is displayed on a smartphone in New York, U.S. (Photographer: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg)

Facebook Blocks Trump Ads Encouraging People to ‘Vote Today’

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Facebook Inc. will block a handful of political ads from President Donald Trump’s campaign for violating the company’s rules around voting misinformation by suggesting it’s time to go to the polls.

The ads, which were uploaded Monday to the social-media service, include messages like “Vote Today” and “Election day is today.” Facebook’s election policies ban ads that include misleading information about when and where you can vote. Election Day is Nov. 3.

Facebook stopped accepting new political advertisements on Tuesday, a week before the election, though candidates and their campaigns can continue to promote ads that were previously approved and uploaded to the company’s system. Most of the Trump ads in question were listed Tuesday as “inactive” in Facebook’s ad archive. It’s likely the campaign uploaded the voting ads with plans to re-promote them on Election Day.

Inactive ads can be reactivated at any time. Facebook blocked Trump’s voting ads even though they aren’t currently being promoted to prevent the ads from being seen at a time that isn’t Election Day.

“As we made clear in our public communications and directly to campaigns, we prohibit ads that say ‘Vote Today’ without additional context or clarity,” a Facebook spokeswoman said in a statement.

It appears the Trump campaign used a similar strategy to upload other political ads before Tuesday’s deadline. A number of Trump ads claim record GDP growth for the U.S. even though GDP numbers won’t be released until later this week. Menlo Park-based Facebook doesn’t fact-check political ads.

Facebook said it will halt political ads entirely as soon polls close on Nov. 3.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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