Social media giant Facebook has been curating political ads paid for by President Donald Trump’s campaign. The platform has reportedly removed over 200 Trump ads that mention former vice president Joe Biden, COVID-19 and Middle East and African refugees.
CBS News reported that 216 Trump ads claiming “despite the health risks [of] COVID-19 Joe Biden will increase refugees.”
“We rejected these ads because we don't allow claims that people's physical safety, health, or survival is threatened by people on the basis of their national origin or immigration status,” Facebook told CBS News through email.
The global brand of Facebook doesn’t seem to operate separately depending on the country anymore. Bringing in a ton of people from anywhere in the world right now probably isn’t the best idea. That doesn’t mean that anyone thinks all refugees carry COVID, just that there is a risk of increasing the spread.
According to CBS News:
The Facebook ad library for the Donald J. Trump Facebook page shows Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. paid $10,000 to $15,000 for the 15-second video messages that started to run on September 30. The ad library, which lists ads purchased by the Trump campaign, shows 216 ads used the "creative and text" before they were taken down by Facebook that same day "because it goes against Facebook Advertising Policies.”
The ads received 300,000 to 350,000 impressions before they were removed, according to the ad library.
What makes even less sense is that CBS News also reported that while the 15-second version of the ad has been removed, the 30-second version has yet to be removed.
With how vague social media outlets are with the exact reasons of why certain posts and accounts are removed, we can’t say definitively whether this is a case of censorship or a legitimate violation of guidelines.