In the midst of political turmoil surrounding the fallout from the Ukraine phone call that set in motion a series of events that would eventually lead to a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, the Democratic National Committee is crying foul over a recent Trump campaign ad running on Facebook and demanding the social network remove it.
According to The Hill, the ad in question accuses former vice president Joe Biden of using his influence and power as vice president to have a Ukrainian prosecutor removed from his position in a corruption probe into a company at which Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was a member of the board.
The Republican National Committee and Trump’s election campaign — thanks to the power of a deep monetary war chest for the 2020 election — are making sure as many Facebook users as possible see the ad with a $10 million spend behind it.
The DNC is reportedly not happy with the ad, which they claim is misleading and false. Daniel Wessel, the deputy war room director at the DNC, made clear that his organization wants the ad taken down to make sure that public opinion isn’t falsely swayed.
“Yes, any false ad should be fact checked and removed, including this one. Facebook owes that to its users.”
Though there’s room to interpret the events that took place under Biden’s watch as suspicious, to this day there hasn’t been any evidence to back any claims that he asserted his power to protect his son at the time. The Obama administration claimed that asking for the removal of the Ukrainian prosecutor was nothing more than an attempt to help further rid the country of corruption.
Because of the seemingly endless campaign pockets of Trump and the RNC, members of the DNC are increasingly worried about an increased number of what they call false and misleading ads spreading on Facebook to millions of users, which would likely have some level of influence on the 2020 election.
“Trump’s ad is part of an effort to push a false narrative intended to deceive and distract from the fact that he pressured a foreign leader to investigate a political rival in order to help his reelection, while withholding critical U.S. aid to that country — and his own White House released a document that proves it,” Wessel said.
“His campaign relies on a shameful strategy built on outright lies to the American public about the content of his phone call with the Ukrainian president. We all have a role to play in combating these lies, and that includes Facebook.”
While Facebook now relies on independent fact-checking services to scan the social network for false, fake and misleading news and other content items, Facebook vice president Nick Clegg made it clear in a blog post this week that political ads are exempt from that process, giving candidates at all levels the freedom to run political ads as they see fit.