Facebook accused of failing to detect ‘rampant election fraud’ campaign ad bought by Trump-backed Republican

Facebook has been accused of failing to detect and stop a campaign ad repeating the “Big Lie” about the 2020 election bought by a Republican candidate endorsed by Donald Trump.

In the wake of Trump’s loss to Joe Biden, various social media sites, including Twitter and Facebook, embarked on efforts to address the spread of false information that the election had been rigged.

Trump, who was one of the biggest spreaders of election falsehoods, was banned from both platforms, and the social media companies said they were working to address misinformation in the months leading up to November’s midterm elections.

However, a report in Washington Post said the company’s systems failed to detect an ad purchased and published in May by Joe Kent, a Trump-backed former special forces soldier who is running for Washington’s 3rd congressional district.

“The conspiracy behind the rampant voter fraud in the 2020 election has been exposed,” says one announcement.

Kent is seeking to oust Jaime Herrera-Beutler, one of ten Republican members of the House, who voted to impeach Trump, after the January 6 takeover of the US Capitol by hundreds of his supporters. .

The ad repeated the claim of “rampant voter fraud” in the 2020 election, something officials say there is no evidence to support. Indeed, Mr. Trump’s own election integrity officials at the Department of Homeland Security said that “the November 3 election was the safest in American history.”

Like everyone who has earned Trump’s endorsement, Kent, 42, has often seized on the 2020 election and repeated his claim that there should be an investigation of the facts, even when he has presented no evidence. of fraud or error. doing.

Joe Kent Says Comparing Jan 6 Riots To Pearl Harbor Is “Completely Ridiculous”

In an interview earlier this year with the independentKent, whose wife, a naval cryptographer, was killed by an ISIS bomb in Syria, was asked if he agreed with Trump’s claim that the election was unfair.

“I am quite firm. I’m pretty confident in what I’ve seen that the election was rigged or stolen, however you want to put it, that Joe Biden didn’t get 270 electoral votes,” he said.

“The way I will always notice that, though, is that I believe it and I want to prove it. So I want there to be a place. And I think when it gets to Congress, we need to have a full congressional investigation.”

The state of Washington uses open primaries, which means that the leading candidates emerging from the first ballot on August 2 move on to the general election, regardless of party affiliation.

Kent has led an energetic and insurgent effort to oust Herrera-Beutler, and the first poll of the year put him clearly ahead of her. However, the most recent poll, certainly in February, placed him second behind Democrat Brent Hennrich.

Facebook has promised to end disinformation


The Trafalgar Group poll gave Hennrich 33 percent, ahead of Kent on 26 percent, Herrera Beutler on 22 percent and Heidi St John, a conservative author, on 12 percent.

An examination of the Facebook ad library by the independent featured several advertisements paid for by Mr. Kent that appeared in May, which repeated the false claim that the 2020 race had been rigged.

“New VIDEO evidence shows thousands of “vote mules” dropping ballots in drop boxes in 5 swing states. An immediate investigation should be launched when the Republicans regain the majority, but the RINOs, like my opponent Jaime Herrera Butler, will never investigate the fraud,” said an ad that appeared between May 12 and 17.

Another said: “The conspiracy behind the rampant voter fraud in the 2020 election has been exposed. Now that we have digital and video evidence, a full investigation with procedural powers must be launched. Permanent Washington will do whatever it takes to cover up the fraud. I will.”

Brent Hennrich is trying to win a seat for the Democrats for the first time since 2010

(Brent Henry)

On Friday, a Facebook spokesperson said efforts were being made to counter misinformation and that “no technology company does more to protect elections online.”

“We have a dedicated team focused on the 2022 midterms to help combat election and voter interference as we help people vote,” the company said in a statement.

“Our strategy is based on measures that we have implemented and improved during elections around the world since 2016. We have achieved this with more than]40,000 people working on these issues, and we spent approximately $5 billion]on safety and security in 2021 alone. ”

There was no immediate explanation from Facebook as to why it had allowed the Kent ad to be bought.

Neither Kent nor his campaign spokesman immediately responded to questions.

Mrs. Herrera Beutler did not respond to questions. Mrs. St. John did not respond to a question.

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