Tell Facebook: Stop Profiting Off of Hate
Between January and February, President Donald Trump’s Facebook page ran over 2,000 ads referring to immigration and immigrants of color, particularly people from Central and South America, as an “invasion.”1
In the months since, other lawmakers and candidates for office — including Sen. Marsha Blackburn, Rep. John Rose and former Virginia Senate candidate Corey Steward — have run ads on Facebook parroting this racist and xenophobic rhetoric.
Then, at the beginning of August, a white supremacist walked into a Walmart in El Paso and murdered almost two-dozen people — the majority of whom were Latinx — in one of the worst mass shootings the United States has seen in the last 35 years.2
We don’t need to wonder what motivated this attack. The shooter’s manifesto echoes the exact same racist language that anti-immigrant hate groups and Trump use to talk about immigrants, Mexicans and “Hispanic” people.
As New York Daily News columnist Brandon Friedman points out, “there are literally straight lines between what the terrorist believes and what is repeated daily by conservative media outlets and the U.S. president.”3
This vitriol from the president and other politicians is not directed at white immigrants.
By running ads that use “invasion” to describe immigrants of color, Facebook is violating its own ad policies and community standards, is profiting off of hate and is giving Trump and others a megaphone to reach millions of people — many of whom may not follow them and never asked to be bombarded with this toxic xenophobia.
Facebook reviews ads before they’re allowed to run on the platform, and the company has rules that all advertisers are supposed to follow.
These policies expressly prohibit discrimination based on race, ethnicity, color and national origin.4 And yet Trump, allied nativist and white-supremacist groups and nativist lawmakers are allowed to run campaign ads using dehumanizing, white-supremacist rhetoric.
Facebook is violating its own advertising rules and community standards and is putting profits over the lives of Brown people. This is vile and dangerous and it must stop. Tell Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to stop running ads that describe immigration and immigrants of color as an “invasion” and “infestation.”
In partnership with:
1. “Facebook Let Trump's Campaign Run Over 2,000 Ads Referring to Immigration as an ‘Invasion’,” Media Matters, Aug. 5, 2019: https://www.mediamatters.org/facebook/facebook-let-trumps-campaign-run-over-2000-ads-referring-immigration-invasion
2. “Timeline: The Deadliest Mass Shootings in the U.S.,” Al Jazeera, Aug. 4, 2019: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/10/deadliest-mass-shootings-171002111143485.html
3. Brandon Friedman via Twitter, Aug. 4, 2019: https://twitter.com/BFriedmanDC/status/1158025780233986048/photo/1
4. “Discriminatory Practices,” Facebook Advertising Policies: https://www.facebook.com/policies/ads/prohibited_content/discriminatory_practices