Sep 29, 2020 - Technology

Exclusive: Biden campaign blasts Facebook for "regression"

Biden letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

An image of the letter Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon sent Mark Zuckerberg.

On the eve of the first presidential debate, the Biden campaign is pressing Facebook to remove posts by President Trump — and slamming the social media company as "the nation’s foremost propagator of disinformation about the voting process."

Why it matters: By publicly escalating the conflict, the campaign is pressing Facebook to enforce its policies against misinformation more aggressively.

Details: "Rather than seeing progress, we have seen regression," campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon wrote to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a three-page letter obtained by Axios.

  • "Facebook’s continued promise of future action is serving as nothing more than an excuse for inaction," the letter says.
  • "We will be calling out those failures as they occur over the coming 36 days."

The other side: Andy Stone, a Facebook company spokesperson, tells Axios in a statement: "While many Republicans think we should take one course, many Democrats think we should do the exact opposite.

  • "We’ve faced criticism from Republicans for being biased against conservatives and Democrats for not taking more steps to restrict the exact same content," he said.
  • "We have rules in place to protect the integrity of the election and free expression, and we will continue to apply them impartially." -

The big picture: Trump has long used Facebook as well as Twitter to talk directly to supporters and encourage them to vote.

  • Trump has posted messages telling supporters to "go to your Polling Place to see whether or not your Mail In Vote has been Tabulated" and to demand to vote in person if their ballots haven't been counted.
  • In recent weeks, the president has also turned to Facebook to amplify doubts about the integrity of mail-in ballots.
  • The Biden campaign says that these posts encourage illegal behavior and should be taken down — and questions why Facebook is holding back.
  • "By now Mr. Trump clearly understands that Facebook will not hold him to their clearly stated policies," the letter states.

Flashback: In June, Biden's campaign published a petition and a letter to Zuckerberg demanding that the social media giant implement stronger misinformation rules and hold politicians, including President Trump, accountable for spreading lies.

Read the letter.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include a statement from Facebook.

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