CNN reports on a relatively rare act of accountability from social media megaplatform Facebook, after the site finally deleted a post from President Donald Trump containing misinformation (polite for “lies”) about the COVID-19 pandemic–the so-called “Committee to Defend the President,” run by former Colorado state Sen. Ted Harvey of Highlands Ranch, has had its paid advertising campaign shut down:
Facebook announced Thursday it was banning ads from The Committee to Defend the President, a pro-Trump super PAC. Facebook did not say how long the ban would last.
“As a result of the Committee to Defend the President’s repeated sharing of content determined by third-party fact-checkers to be false, they will not be permitted to advertise for a period of time on our platform,” Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone said. Stone declined to say what specifically led to Thursday’s action…
We have not seen the specific ad that led to this suspension, but back in February Harvey got into similar hot water over a dreadfully inaccurate ad attacking Joe Biden in the South Carolina Democratic primary–which Biden went on to win in a blowout. In a post to Facebook today, Harvey essentially says neener neener, we’ll advertise on platforms that don’t care what’s true:
Anyone who remembers Harvey’s time in the Colorado General Assembly already knows that he has a troubled relationship with facts in general, and this statement confirms another ad from Harvey’s PAC was forced by Facebook to be corrected prior to earning this suspension. Facebook has drawn considerable criticism in recent months for failing to crack down on the distribution of egregiously false information on their platform, so most people who like their social media free of pay-to-play falsehoods will call this a positive step.
It’s also worth remembering that the previous incarnation of the “Committee to Defend the President,” the Stop Hillary PAC run by the same duo of former Sen. Harvey and lawyer Dan Backer, made a dubious list of so-called “ScamPACs”–groups more about raising money to cover their own overhead than advertising or any other activity in support of their stated objective.
“Reallocating” their Facebook budget to platforms that allow lying is sure to take a lot of staff time.