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Facebook has been taking heat for refusing to remove a Trump campaign ad that includes misinformation about Joe Biden. The ad claims that Biden "promised Ukraine $1 billion if they fired the prosecutor investigating his son's company," even though there is no evidence that this happened.
But Facebook is far from the only company to allow the ad. The ad has graced Twitter, YouTube, and a slew of TV outlets: ABC, CBS, MSNBC, and Fox News. Only CNN seems to have rejected it.
Of course, it means different things for different entities to air the ad. The cable networks are both accepting money from the campaign and, at executives' discretion, giving the commercial a spot in a very limited amount of available airtime. The broadcast networks are doing the same, but with less choice in the matter: "broadcasters such as NBC, ABC and CBS have to comply with the Federal Communications Commission's rules around political ads, which bar them from censoring candidates," The Washington Post notes. They've largely interpreted this to mean "they must run ads from candidates, while they can fact-check and prohibit ads from Super PACs and other third-party groups."
Social media venues, meanwhile, may make money from the ad if the Trump 2020 campaign chooses to pay to promote it. But campaigns can post ads to these platforms for free too, and without any gatekeeping from company executives. So can tons of other users.
In other words, Facebook (and Twitter, and YouTube) are not proactively choosing to include this particular ad within a limited space for messages, nor are they making big bucks off it. They're simply choosing not to censor the myriad individual accounts that might share the ad.
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