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 — ran 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
Tell Facebook to stop profiting off of hate.
We don’t need to wonder what motivated the attack in El Paso. 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. Facebook is making money off of rhetoric that is literally killing people of color. Tell the company to stop running these kinds of ads immediately.
By running ads that use “invasion” to describe immigrants of color, Facebook is violating its own ad policies and community standards 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. It’s vile and dangerous and it must stop.
Thanks for all that you do—
Heather, Nilda, Jessica and the rest of the Free Press Action team
Wed 29 January 2020 3:38 PM