# Why does activated carbon preferentially adsorb anions?

Brands like Brita and Pur (in the U.S.) have made a name for themselves for the ability of their product (essentially a large-pore filter with activated carbon/charcoal) to extract the added chlorine from tap water. I visualize $\ce{C}^*$ as a vast network of channels in which ions are "trapped". I had assumed that most cations and anions were trapped effectively, but it seems to favor chlorine and iodine.

According to Wikipedia:

Activated carbon does not bind well to certain chemicals, including alcohols, glycols, strong acids and bases, metals and most inorganics, such as lithium, sodium, iron, lead, arsenic, fluorine, and boric acid.

Why would it not bind effectively to fluorine? Is it an issue of atomic radius? Does $\ce{F-}$, with a radius of 0.136 nm sneak by, while $\ce{I-}$ and $\ce{Cl-}$ at 0.181 and 0.216 nm, repectively, get caught up in the matrix? Why do the cations get passed through?

I think that you may have misread or misinterpreted the sentence about binding "chlorine and iodine" as saying that it traps chloride, iodide, and (by extension) other anions well. I can't find data to support this statement. It traps molecular iodine well, and as a large (in terms of electrons), non-polar molecule, that makes sense. But it removes molecular chlorine $\ce{Cl2}$ through a chemical reaction by reducing it to the chloride ion $\ce{Cl-}$ which is then soluble in water and flows through the filter.