Why Fb Rejected Some Trump PAC Fundraising Advertisements Whereas Permitting Others
US President Donald Trump smiles during a phone conversation with Mexico’s President Enrique Pena … [+]
AFP via Getty Images
President Trump cannot post on Facebook. He can’t buy ads. He is banned from the platform at least until 2023. But his PAC can do both – as long as the ads don’t contain a URL to DonaldJTrump.com.
Last week, Trump’s PAC, Save America, launched a series of ads to raise funds and increase attendance at an upcoming rally by the former president. (The PAC already has an official Facebook page dedicated to the president, including @OfficialTeamTrump.) Facebook says most of these ads do not circumvent Trump’s ban, but it turned down several PAC ads that link to the former president contained website.
It depends: Facebook is trying to be a little tougher on politicians running amok on its websites, a marked departure from its previous preference to allow all kinds of unrestricted freedom of expression. But the policy is new, evolving, and being uncomfortably stretched, as is the case with these Trump PAC ads. For many users, the difference between an ad with the URL and an identical ad without it is minimal. But Facebook decided – somewhat amazingly – to draw the line there: no URL. The company says it is trying to keep President Trump’s voice off its app and the link to its website is disregarding the target.
But here’s an ad that has been approved, and it clearly reads like the president picked it up as a tweet – unmistakable like his voice:
A fundraiser for President Trump that was run on Facebook by his PAC – even though the company banned him … [+]
The PAC’s resumption of Facebook marketing came as an ironic surprise given Trump’s official ban and his recent testimony of the company being blown up for being expelled.
When Facebook announced in May that it would be serving a two-year ban, Trump criticized the company for “censoring and silencing” it, suggesting that a second Trump administration was moving into the White House with a hostile attitude towards Facebook would: If I am in the White House, there will be no more dinner with Mark Zuckerberg and his wife at his request. “
But while Trump is publicly upset about Facebook, his advisors seem to be aware of the political importance of the site, where candidates with ads like Save America’s can successfully siphon off large sums of money from base donors. Its importance is undisputed, even if it may not always be a candidate’s voice.