Photo Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook said Wednesday that it was removing a series of ads from President Trump's campaign that linked American acceptance of refugees with increased coronavirus risk, a connection Facebook says is without merit.

Why it matters: The ads were pulled after they received thousands of impressions and are a sign that the Trump campaign continues to test the limits of social media rules on false information.

“We rejected these ads because we don’t allow claims that people’s physical safety, health, or survival is threatened by people on the basis of their national origin or immigration status,” Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone said in a statement.

The big picture: The move comes as the social media platforms prepare for an intense period through the November election and until the race is decided. Facebook said last week it wouldn't allow ads that prematurely declare victory and has also said it will stop allowing new political ads a week before Election Day.

  • On Wednesday, it said it was expanding its election-related policy to limit additional types of ads that could interfere with voting.

"We also won’t allow ads with content that seeks to delegitimize the outcome of an election," Facebook's Rob Leathern said in a series of tweets. "For example, this would include calling a method of voting inherently fraudulent or corrupt, or using isolated incidents of voter fraud to delegitimize the result of an election."

Yes, but: The new rules about voting content apply to ads on Facebook and Instagram. Facebook will not take down organic posts that contain such charges, but it will label them.

Meanwhile: Twitter said it removed 130 accounts that it said appeared to be from Iran and were "attempting to disrupt the public conversation" during Tuesday's debate. The company said it acted on information provided by the FBI.

Go deeper

18 hours ago - Technology

Facebook Oversight Board begins hearing appeals

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Facebook Oversight Board announced Thursday that some Facebook and Instagram users can now submit appeals to the Oversight Board for an independent review of their own content removals.

Why it matters: The board, a first-of-its-kind internet governance body, will begin hearing cases from users ahead of the U.S. election.

FBI: Russian hacking group stole data after targeting local governments

FBI Headquarters. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Energetic Bear, a Russian state-sponsored hacking group, has stolen data from two servers after targeting state and federal government networks in the U.S. since at least September, the FBI and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said on Thursday.

Driving the news: Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe announced Wednesday that Iran and Russia had obtained voter registration information that could be used to undermine confidence in the U.S. election system.

Trump and lawmakers react to intel alert on Russia and Iran election interference

Sen. Mark Warner and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) in Washington, D.C. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump and lawmakers reacted to Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe's announcement that Iran and Russia sought to influence the U.S. election by obtaining voter registration data in an attempt to spread false information.

What they're saying: Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Vice Chair Mark Warner (D-Va.) urged Americans in a joint statement to "be cautious" ahead of the Nov. 3 election "about believing or spreading unverified, sensational claims related to votes and voting."

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