Investigate Facebook: Profiting off voter suppression

Federal Trade Commission (FTC), House Judiciary Committee, & House Energy and Commerce Committee

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Facebook has repeatedly refused to hold Donald Trump to any sort of standard on its platform. And as a result -- the company has given him a green light to sow discord with advertisements that contain deceptive, false, or misleading information.

Just last year, Facebook allowed Trump’s campaign to run ads that featured debunked conspiracy theories about Joe Biden. [1]

And now, as states consider expanding their vote-by-mail options to help Americans vote safely in November -- Trump is once again taking advantage of Facebook’s leniency. This time, he’s spreading harmful disinformation about voting.

Already, Trump’s re-election campaign has purchased over 500 Facebook ads that spread disproven claims about voter fraud. [2] And how can these false, irresponsible ads run uninhibited?

Because Facebook exempts politicians’ ads -- including Trump’s -- from any fact-checking. [3] And even though Facebook claims it bans political ads that discourage people from voting, the platform has done nothing to stop the Trump campaign from publishing its harmful ads.

Even worse: Facebook is profiting off of these deliberately misleading ads. These posts could deter everyday Americans from exercising their right to vote -- but Facebook is a monopoly whose business model is based on surveilling its users and serving them ads, so it has no problem running Trumps', as long as they generate revenue.

Clearly, the team at Facebook has learned nothing from its 2016 debacle -- when the presidential election was polluted by foreign disinformation shared via Facebook’s platform.

We must demand real accountability. Add your name to urge key oversight bodies to investigate Facebook -- and stop the company from profiting off of vote-suppressing ads.

This petition is sponsored by: California Clean Money Action Fund, Campaign for Accountability, Common Cause, Common Dreams, Daily Kos, Defend Democracy, Demand Progress, DemCast USA, Endangered Species Coalition, LeftAction, MAYDAY America, MediaJustice, Other 98%, People for the American Way, Progress America, RootsAction.org, Social Security Works, UltraViolet, Watchdog.net


1) https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/10/9/20906612/trump-campaign-ad-joe-biden-ukraine-facebook
2) https://www.mediamatters.org/facebook/facebook-letting-trump-campaign-publish-least-529-ads-false-claims-voter-fraud
3) https://time.com/5762234/facebook-political-ads-election/

To: Federal Trade Commission (FTC), House Judiciary Committee, & House Energy and Commerce Committee
From: [Your Name]

Donald Trump’s re-election campaign is buying hundreds of ads on Facebook that spread dangerous disinformation about voting. But Facebook refuses to take these demonstrably false ads down -- and the company continues to generate revenue from them.

This is outrageous -- Facebook has no right to profit off attacks on our democracy that could disenfranchise voters. That’s why we’re calling on key oversight bodies to investigate Facebook’s profiteering from political ads with disinformation about voting and take appropriate action.