In a move that seems unprecedented Facebook has taken down Trump ads infringing the sites policies against organized hate. This looks like a big pointer to how it will operate at WH2020 where the giant social media site was expected to play a huge role.
The ads involved are said to have attacked what the Trump campaign described as “Dangerous MOBS of far-left groups,” featured an upside-down triangle. It is said the triangle “is practically identical to that used by the Nazi regime to classify political prisoners in concentration camps.”
The site and its boss Mark Zuckerberg have been widely criticised in other elections for the huge role they play and for not taking action against such ads. CNN reports:
“Facebook’s removal of Trump’s ads could escalate tensions between the White House and Silicon Valley. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was criticized last month for not taking action on a Trump post that said “looting” leads to “shooting,” amid racial unrest across the country. Twitter (TWTR) flagged the same Trump post on its platform as glorifying violence.”
Given the huge importance of the social media sites in elections this change of policy suggests that advertisers are going to have to be much more careful in what they put up. What makes Facebook so powerful is because it has so much data on users that it is possible to tightly target the distribution of the advertisements to people with certain characteristics who would respond best.