Facebook has refused ad purchases from President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign, which is seeking to encourage voter support for Republicans in competitive races before Tuesday’s midterm elections. The social media giant pulled the ads Monday following pressure from CNN, the Daily Beast, and other left-wing journalists.
Facebook announced that the Trump immigration ad “cannot receive paid distribution” on the platform after the company determined that it violates the platform’s rules against “sensational content.” Facebook did not specify exactly how the Trump ad violates the policy, but did say the video can still be posted by users. This decision follows a campaign to have the ads removed by left-wing journalists.
The company advised Breitbart News via email:
This ad violates Facebook’s advertising policy against sensational content so we are rejecting it. While the video is allowed to be posted on Facebook, it cannot receive paid distribution.
This ad violates Facebook’s polices against sensational content. Ads must not contain shocking, sensational, disrespectful or excessively violent content. This includes dehumanizing or denigrating entire groups of people and using frightening and exaggerated rumors of danger.
Ads must not contain shocking, sensational, disrespectful or excessively violent content.
- Images that may shock or scare viewers
- Images that are scary, gory or sensational
- Ads depicting violence or threats of violence
President Trump’s 2020 Campaign Manager, Brad Parscale, was quick to fire back at the platform. Parscale said that Facebook has “chosen to stand with those ILLEGALLY IN THIS COUNTRY. Instead of standing with LEGAL IMMIGRANTS and those that follow our laws.” He also referred to Mark Zuckerberg’s company as part of the “Palo Alto Mafia,” a term he has previously used to refer to Silicon Valley companies censoring conservatives.
So, @NBCNews @CNN @facebook have chosen to stand with those ILLEGALLY IN THIS COUNTRY. Instead of standing with LEGAL IMMIGRANTS and those that follow our laws. The #FakeNewsMedia and #PaloAltoMafia are trying to control what you see and how you think. STOP THE CARAVAN!
— Brad Parscale (@parscale) November 5, 2018
Watch the ad below, as shared by Parscale.
Our new ad starts tonight. Take a look at this ad running nationally for a 1.5MM dollar buy. BUT, @CNN will not let us buy on their network. Do they not want to show REAL news? @donlemon pic.twitter.com/QyeiMDQG1R
— Brad Parscale (@parscale) November 2, 2018
Last week, Trump shared a longer version of the ad on Twitter.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 31, 2018
Facebook also said the ad violates its policy against “sensational content” in advertisements, which prohibits “shocking, sensational, disrespectful or excessively violent content, [including] dehumanizing or denigrating entire groups of people and using frightening and exaggerated rumors of danger.”
The Daily Beast implicitly lobbied Facebook to censor the ad, an effort echoed by CNN’s Donnie O’Sullivan and Oliver Darcy.
NEW: Trump campaign Facebook ads are targeting voters in Florida and Arizona with that caravan ad that CNN deemed too racist to run https://t.co/knGvQY836F
— A source close to Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) November 5, 2018
— Donie O’Sullivan (@donie) November 5, 2018
Last week, CNN refused to accept ad purchases for the 30-second spot, deriding the ad as “racist.” NBC similarly censored the ad.
Fox News Channel followed suit on Monday, refusing to air the ad.