Trump Accused of Using PAC To Evade Facebook Ban

Donald Trump at first 2020 presidential debate
(Image credit: Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images )

Common Cause, joined by almost two dozen more groups, have called on Facebook to prevent political action committees (PACS) affiliated with suspended accounts--the target is former President Trump--to violate the site's community standards.

That violation of standards was the specific rationale Facebook gave for suspending Trump's Facebook and Instagram accounts.

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The groups wrote Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg telling him that Facebook should not allow the Team Trump page, which is operated by Trump’s Save America PAC, " to continue running political ads on Facebook, despite the current 2-year ban on the former president’s Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Facebook has said that was because the ban only applied to affiliated posts if they were in Trump's "voice."

The groups argue that is too vague a term and Facebook needs to clarify its policies and better align them with campaign finance laws in the face of what they said is Trump's ability to practice ban evasion via the PAC they argue he controls.

To the degree they can divine the standard for voice, they said, it appears to only include posts of videos of Trump or links to his website.

They said that under campaign finance law, Trump's PAC is controlled by the former president, so allowing its political ads on Facebook is allowing Trump to use a loophole to evade the ban.

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"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," said Yosef Getachew, Common Cause media and democracy program director.

Among the groups signing on to the letter were Free Press, MoveOn, and the National Hispanic Media Coalition.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.