Facebook announced it has suspended the advertising privileges of a powerful political action committee supportive of President Trump for repeatedly promoting misinformation on its social network.
“As a result of the Committee to Defend the President’s repeated sharing of content determined by third-party fact-checkers to be false, they will not be permitted to advertise for a period of time on our platform,” Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone said in a statement Thursday.
Facebook declined to specify how long the ban will last or precisely what ad if any prompted the company to act.
A public database Facebook keeps of paid ads placed on the platform shows the PAC has run afoul of the platform’s policies more than a dozen times within the last two years.
Between September 2018 and August 2020, Facebook has taken down at least 13 distinct ads bought by the group for going against its advertising policies, according to the database.
Most recently, an attack ad targeting presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden was pulled from the platform this week after Facebook’s independent fact-checkers determined it contained false information. The PAC spent more than $4,000 buying five versions of the ad targeting Facebook users in North Carolina, resulting in over 200,000 unique impressions within a matter of days, per Facebook’s figures.
Facebook similarly yanked several ads placed by the PAC last month that tried to malign Mr. Biden as racist by taking comments he previously made out of context.
“Pages that repeatedly publish or share misinformation will see their distribution reduced and their ability to monetize and advertise removed,” according to Facebook’s policies.
Formerly known as the Stop Hillary PAC, the group described itself when it launched in 2013 as being “created for one reason only—to ensure Hillary Clinton never becomes President of the United States.” It changed its name to the Committee to Defend the President in 2017, and it has spent over $324,000 on Facebook ads since 2018.
The Committee to Defend the President did not immediately return a message requesting comment.
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