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Photo: Johannes Simon/Getty Images; Mark Wilson/Getty Images

After initially indicating it would not take action against campaign ads from President Trump that encouraged people to "take the Official 2020 Congressional District Census today," Facebook said Thursday it would take the messages down.

Why it matters: Facebook has generally subjected political advertising to few rules, but had said it would take a tough stand against any posts designed to mislead people about the census.

  • In this case, the company only took action after the problem was reported and civil rights groups spoke out.

Details: The ads also included a logo touting a "2020 Census," in an apparent effort to encourage supporters to provide the campaign with personal information.

  • Judd Legum at Popular Information reported early Thursday about the ads and said that Facebook was not taking action.
  • That drew an outcry from the Leadership Conference Education Fund and other civil rights groups, and Facebook eventually reversed its decision, citing a further review of the ads.

What they're saying:

  • Facebook, in a statement to Axios: "There are policies in place to prevent confusion around the official U.S. Census and this is an example of those being enforced."
  • Vanita Gupta, CEO of the Leadership Conference Education Fund: "While we're gratified that Facebook shut down Trump's attempt to sow confusion about how and when to participate in the 2020 Census, it's disturbing that the ads weren't immediately removed."
  • Sen. Mark Warner: "The Trump campaign's bogus 'official census' Facebook ads are deceptive and undermine public confidence in the census process. I'm glad Facebook heeded calls by @vanitaguptaCR and @juddlegum to take them down."
  • The New York Times' Charlie Warzel offered a "reminder that Facebook essentially relies on independent journalists like Judd to act as unpaid content moderators."

Go deeper

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Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.