CNN finds a troubling pattern of an unknown company hawking products as patriotic-themed political slogans through the Trump-friendly Facebook ad network.
Although these ad campaigns are apparently unrelated, they have similar rhetoric and messages.
In a story for CNN.com and printed on the online version of CNN Digital’s business section, Jake Tapper found examples of similar advertisements run on Facebook from a company called “Make Political Mobs Great Again.” That same company is also tied to a political organization known as A.C.L.U.R. United, which Tapper also reported on.
“Facebook is a powerful new political weapon that extends the political process and serves as a vehicle for powerful messages,” said Marc Rotenberg, the executive director of the A.C.L.U.R. United.
“When it comes to the political discussions on social media, Facebook needs to clarify its policies,” Rotenberg said. “It’s unfortunate that Facebook has given users the impression that Facebook users can discuss politics on its platform and still enjoy free speech. Facebook needs to decide between censorship or expression.”
Read Rotenberg’s statement in full on CNN.com.
A message delivered to CNN by Facebook explained the appearance of the ad by saying, “Politics on Facebook is all about the free exchange of ideas and opinions and there’s nothing about this ad that would violate our policies.”
“Make Political Mobs Great Again” attempted to take issue with Tapper’s reporting in a statement sent to CNN by a Facebook spokeswoman.
In the statement, the company says, “The media was wrong to report that these are ads for a political action committee. These ads are not a PAC and the report is misguided.
“Our job is to inform people about politics and public policy, not to engage in political discussion. It appears the media incorrectly reported this ad and we appreciate CNN clarifying this.”
The ad was owned by a company called “Make Political Mobs Great Again.” The message echoed some of the rhetoric and images that the president has utilized for many of his speeches and tweets.
But the ad lists Trump’s name as the only endorser and doesn’t follow any of the rules set forth by Facebook.
There are some questionable cases reported about “Make Political Mobs Great Again” being associated with an organization known as A.C.L.U.R. United. According to Tapper, the Facebook ad connecting to the A.C.L.U.R. United website listed a political agenda as one of the program’s main goals.