Facebook has been accused of failing to spot the “rampant voter fraud” campaign ad bought by Trump-backed Republicans

Facebook has been accused of failing to detect and stop a campaign ad repeating the “big lie” about the 2020 election that was bought by a Republican candidate backed by Donald Trump.

Following Mr Trump’s defeat by Joe Biden, efforts have been made by several social media sites, including Twitter and Facebook, to clamp down on the spread of false information that the election had been rigged.

Mr Trump, one of the biggest spreaders of untruths about the election, was banned from both platforms and social media companies said they were working to crack down on disinformation in the months leading up to November’s midterm elections.

But a report in the Washington Post said the company’s systems failed to recognize an ad that Joe Kent, a Trump-backed former special forces soldier who bought and published in the race for Washington’s third congressional district in May, failed to recognize.

“The conspiracy behind rampant voter fraud in the 2020 election has been uncovered,” an ad said.

Mr Kent is trying to oust Jaime Herrera-Beutler, one of 10 Republican members of the House of Representatives who voted to impeach Mr Trump after hundreds of his supporters stormed the US Capitol on January 6.

The ad reiterated claims of “rampant voter fraud” in the 2020 election, something officials say there is no evidence of. In fact, 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 anyone who has earned Mr Trump’s support, Mr Kent, 42, has often raised the issue of the 2020 election, repeating his claim that there should be an investigation into what happened, even as he has presented no evidence of fraud or wrongdoing . to do.

Joe Kent says comparing January 6 riots to Pearl Harbor is “utterly ridiculous”.

In an interview earlier this year with The IndependentMr Kent, whose wife, a Navy cryptographer, was killed by an Isis bomb in Syria, was asked if he agreed with Mr Trump’s claim that the election was not fair.

“I’m pretty adamant. I’m pretty confident from 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.

“However, the way I’m always going to qualify that is that I believe that and want to prove it. So I want there to be a venue. And I think when I get into Congress, we need a full congressional investigation.”

Washington state uses open primaries, which means that the top candidates emerging from the first vote on August 2 will advance to the general election regardless of party affiliation.

Mr Kent has led a vigorous, insurgent attempt to oust Mr Herrera-Beutler, and the first poll of the year put him well ahead of them. But the most recent poll, which was conducted in February, put him in second place behind Democrat Brent Hennrich.

Facebook has vowed to stamp out disinformation

(Facebook)

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

An Examination of Facebook’s Ad Library by The Independent showed several advertisements paid for by Mr Kent which appeared in May repeating the false claim that the 2020 race had been rigged.

“New VIDEO evidence shows thousands of ‘vote mules’ throwing ballots into dropboxes in 5 swing states. An immediate investigation must be launched if Republicans regain a majority, but RINOs like my opponent Jaime Herrera Butler will never investigate the fraud,” reads an ad that appears to have run between May 12 and 17.

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

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

(Brent Henrich)

On Friday, a Facebook spokesperson said efforts were being made to counter disinformation and that “no tech company is doing more to protect elections online.”

“We have a dedicated team focused on the 2022 midterm elections to fight elections and voter manipulation while helping people vote,” the company said in a statement.

“Our strategy builds on measures we have introduced and improved in elections around the world since 2016. We’ve worked with more than]40,000 people on these issues – and spent about $5 billion on security in 2021 alone. ”

There was no immediate explanation from Facebook as to why it had allowed Mr Kent’s ad to be purchased.

Neither Mr Kent nor his campaign spokesman immediately responded to questions.

Ms. Herrera Beutler does not answer any questions. Mrs. St. John did not answer a question.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/facebook-trump-election-fraud-joe-kent-b2084099.html Facebook has been accused of failing to spot the “rampant voter fraud” campaign ad bought by Trump-backed Republicans

Bobby Allyn

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