Common Cause and Over 20 Organizations Demand Facebook Close Loophole That Allows Trump to Remain On Platform Despite Ban

Today, Common Cause and over 20 non-partisan organizations working to combat voter suppression, stop online hate, and ensure all voters have an equal opportunity to participate in the political process, sent a letter to Mark Zuckerberg demanding that Facebook close a loophole that has allowed former president Donald Trump to remain a regular presence on the platform despite being “banned” from it. The letter urges Zuckerberg to clearly define what content it considers to be in the voice of public figures and align its content moderation policies with campaign finance law.

The letter comes at a time when Facebook is allowing the Team Trump page, operated by Trump’s Save America political action committee, to continue running political ads on Facebook, despite the current 2-year ban on the former president’s Facebook and Instagram accounts. Facebook explained that groups affiliated with the former president are not barred from posting on Facebook so long as they are not posting in his “voice.”

The letter explains that Facebook’s current interpretation of “voice” is not rooted in campaign finance law or any clearly defined rule and fails to consider how public figures can use political committees under their control to violate Facebook’s Community Standards, circumventing enforcement action. The letter urges Facebook to make changes that prevent Trump or any other accounts facing suspensions from using their control of PACs to engage in ban evasion on Facebook.

Statement of Yosef Getachew, Common Cause Media and Democracy Program Director 

“Once again, Facebook is guilty of putting profits ahead of the public welfare. The platform remains woefully irresponsible in allowing continued attacks on our democracy. Donald Trump remains a regular presence on Facebook even though he is ‘banned’ from the platform. Despite suspending Trump’s personal account for two years, the platform has allowed his PAC to continue purchasing ads on Facebook. This is a naked attempt by Trump to get around the suspension. Allowing Trump to exploit this loophole only signals to other violators of Facebook’s policies that they too can evade enforcement actions by using a different page run by a political committee or political entity under their control.”

“If Facebook’s content moderation policies for public figures are to have any legitimacy, they must not be so easily circumvented. We urge Facebook to close this loophole and align its content moderation policies with campaign finance law to prevent politicians from using political committees under their control to evade enforcement actions.”

To read the full letter, click here.