The conservative political action committee American Principles Project is accusing Facebook of attempting to "silence Black voices" after the social media giant took down an anti-Joe Biden ad that targeted minority voters with criticism of the Democratic candidate's history in Congress.
The one-minute ad shows then-Senator Biden speaking in favor of a controversial 1994 crime bill and tells voters that he supports Black Lives Matter, which the ad accuses of wanting to "keep Black men from raising their children.”
President Trump, who's fighting for a second term in the White House, brought up the legislation -- which critics say led to an increase in the number of Black men incarcerated -- in a debate with the Democratic challenger last week.
While the legislation was widely supported when it was passed in the early 1990s, as communities across the U.S. fought rising crime amid the crack epidemic, Biden later said the bill was "a mistake."
The American Principles Project ad's narrator, a Black woman, voiced the same opinion: "I needed my dad -- more than anything," she says. "Black lives, Black families, and Black futures do matter, Mr. Biden, and it starts at home."
Facebook removed the video on Saturday after a fact-check from Lead Stories concluded that there was "no evidence" of the claims that Biden "endorsed the organization or the exclusion of Black men from child-rearing.”
The ad had reportedly cited a recently-deleted statement from the Black Lives Matter Global Network's website, saying that the group "[disrupts] the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.”
The page has since been archived.
"Although Biden does lay out a plan on his website for addressing systemic racism, Lead Stories searched the BLM website and Google and found no instance of the candidate's formal endorsement of it," the fact-checking website said.
In a statement responding to the move, American Principles Project Executive Director Terry Schilling said he was not surprised by Facebook's action.
In September, the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company also removed a video attacking Democratic Michigan Sen. Gary Peters for his support of the Equality Act, which aims to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
“The company’s actions over the last few weeks have made it clear that it will do whatever it takes to ensure Joe Biden is elected president, whether that means removing anti-Biden ads on absurd grounds or burying news stories which make Biden look bad," wrote Schilling.
"But the idea that some left-wing fact-checker who failed to do even a cursory level of research on the issue should have the authority to silence Black voices?" he asked. "To prevent them from describing how Joe Biden’s policies would affect the Black community? That’s beyond the pale, and it’s anti-American.”