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Facebook removed Trump campaign ads that claimed refugees were responsible for spreading COVID-19, Jo Ling Kent and David Ingram at NBC News reported. One of the ads, found by Business Insider in Facebook's ad library, said "Joe Biden wants to INCREASE refugees from Syria and Somalia by 700% PERCENT. Biden said as President he would make sure to IMMEDIATELY SURGE the border with all those who are seeking asylum." The ad also included a video of Joe Biden speaking, along with flags of Syria, Somalia, and Yemen, labeled as "terror hotspots" and text about the "health risks" involved. It did not include any sources. According to Facebook's ad library, that particular ad reached between 500,000 and one million people in North Carolina, with between 60,000 and 70,000 impressions. It began running on Sep. 28 until it was removed Sep. 29. The campaign spent between $900 and $999 on it. "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 spokesperson Andy Stone said in a statement to NBC.
The campaign ran at least 10 variations of this post in Florida, Ohio, Michigan, and a few other states, and NBC reported there were 38 total variations. In all, at least between $15 and $20,000 was spent on the ads, according to Facebook's ad library. Facebook estimates more than 1 million impressions, though with the caveat that some of them could be recording the same viewer multiple times. Facebook and the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to Business Insider's requests for comment.SEE ALSO: How early Facebook employees Dustin Moskovitz and Justin Rosenstein founded billion-dollar productivity software startup Asana, which just went public Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: What happens to animals during wildfires
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The president’s demands to draw down forces in Afghanistan, Somalia and Syria seek to fulfill a...The president’s demands to draw down forces in Afghanistan, Somalia and Syria seek to fulfill a campaign promise. But officials warn rapid troop reductions could bolster adversaries.
Facebook says it will ban all political ads indefinitely after polls close for the November 3 election (FB)
Summary List Placement Facebook announced Wednesday that it will ban all political ads indefinitely after the...Summary List Placement Facebook announced Wednesday that it will ban all political ads indefinitely after the November 3 election. The announcement comes as pressure on Facebook grows to counter misinformation in the wake of the election. Last week, Facebook said it would ban political ads that prematurely claimed victory while votes were still being counted, as well as ads making claims of rampant voter fraud without evidence. Now, Facebook says it will ban all political ads for an indefinite period after polls close on Election Day. The social network also said it will show notifications at the top of people's News Feeds informing people whether a victor in the presidential election had been determined. Facebook has faced escalating scrutiny for its handling of political ads in recent months, including its policy against fact-checking ads bought by political candidates. The company also previously said it would block all political candidates from buying new ads in the month preceding the election in order to give moderators enough time to process them. Campaigns at all levels of government have bet heavily on Facebook advertising in recent years. Since July 1, the Trump campaign has spent $65.9 million on Facebook ads, while the Biden campaign bought $45.8 million worth of ads on the platform in the same time frame, according to data collected by the NYU Ad Observatory.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why electric planes haven't taken off yet
Facebook's decision to halt new political ads will have big implications for last-minute campaigns but little impact on its ad business
Summary List Placement After facing scrutiny about its handling of misinformation and political ads during the...Summary List Placement After facing scrutiny about its handling of misinformation and political ads during the 2016 presidential election, Facebook said it would not take any new political ads in the week leading up to this year's presidential contest in November. Facebook also announced steps to promote legitimate reporting on the election and combat posts that discourage people from voting. Joe Biden and President Trump have been spending big on Facebook for more than a year. But small and midsize businesses make up the bulk of Facebook's $70 billion advertising business, so the ban on new advertising campaigns will have little effect on Facebook's revenue. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said political ads would make less than 0.5% of Facebook's 2020 revenue. Other digital media platforms including Twitter, Pinterest and Adobe have banned political ads. "There's more money than ever that would have been spent on it," said Rob Shepardson, a political consultant who helped cofound the ad agency SS+K and worked on both of Barack Obama's presidential campaigns. "But any way you slice it, it's not a significant hit for Facebook." Shepardson said Facebook's new ban could throw a wrench in political campaigns, though, with 20% to 25% of political ad budgets spent in the week before an election encouraging people to vote. That money is likely to go to streaming TV platforms, programmatic advertising, and audio advertising, said Ivanka Farrell, senior director of media operations at political ad agency Bully Pulpit. "There are plenty of elections where people make up their mind the last week," Shepardson said. "'Get out the vote' is a massive operation of any sophisticated campaign." Facebook's rule comes with catches, though Patrick Savoia, director of global media at ad agency Blue State, pointed out that the impact of Facebook's decision could be small this year because campaigns are emphasizing ads promoting mail-in voting that starts weeks before the election. He said that the biggest impact will be on local races where last-minute spending is heavier. He said it's also unclear if Facebook's new policy applies to cause-based advertising, which has in the past been treated the same as political and nonprofit campaigns. While politicians cannot run new campaigns in the week before to the election, they can still run campaigns in the week before the election if they start them eight or more days beforehand. They can also increase their spending on campaigns that are already running. Shepardson said that in his interpretation of the policy, Facebook's effort could end up stripping out some of the targeting and custom messaging that politicians traditionally use in last-minute campaigns. Savoia said that Facebook's new policy also doesn't address the platform's problems with its algorithm that can surface misinformation and hate content. "I think it is a lot of lip service," he said.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: A cleaning expert reveals her 3-step method for cleaning your entire home quickly