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SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 30: The Facebook logo is displayed during the F8 Facebook Developers conference on April 30, 2019 in San Jose, California. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivered the opening keynote to the FB Developer conference that runs through May 1. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Trump Facebook ads removed over misleading US census link

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 30: The Facebook logo is displayed during the F8 Facebook Developers conference on April 30, 2019 in San Jose, California. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivered the opening keynote to the FB Developer conference that runs through May 1. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Facebook Inc. will remove ads from US President Donald Trump that encouraged users to take the “Official 2020 Congressional District Census,” but included a link that led them to a re-election campaign survey unrelated to the official US Census.

Facebook is struggling to respond to growing demands from Washington to explain how the personal data of millions of its users could be exploited by a consulting firm that helped Donald Trump win the presidency.

The social network, which has come under fire for its policy against fact-checking ads from politicians, makes exceptions for ads that share misleading information around certain categories, like voting or the 2020 Census.

The ads were published on March 4, according to Facebook’s ad library, and versions of the spot were still active as of 3 p.m. New York time on Thursday. A Facebook spokesperson said the ads are in the process of being rejected.

“There are policies in place to prevent confusion around the official US Census and this is an example of those being enforced.”

– Facebook spokesperson

The ads were up long enough for some of Trump’s political rivals to notice them. US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said earlier Thursday that the ads were “very concerning” and called them “a lie.” Clicking on the ad brings users to a survey asking for a person’s age and party affiliation, and claims to be sponsored by Trump’s re-election campaign. Facebook’s planned removal of the ads was reported earlier by NPR.