Major social media companies attracted widespread attention and mixed reviews after banning former President Donald Trump from their platforms earlier this year.
Now, Facebook is reportedly making a slight concession by allowing some Trump-sponsored content to be posted to the site.
“Stand with Trump”
While still formally banned as part of a two-year suspension, Trump’s new fundraising ads are being promoted on Facebook. According to the company’s data, Team Trump spent $3,500 last week on the new ads, which rolled out on Monday.
The paid advertisements hype an upcoming campaign rally in Ohio, which marks Trump’s first since leaving office. Specifically, the calls to action request donations to his fundraising effort.
Paid for by a joint venture between the Save America and Make America Great Again political action committees, the ads refer to Trump exclusively in the third person, along with an exhortation to “stand with Trump.”
That decision was apparently by design, according to Facebook insiders. One spokesperson explained that Trump-affiliated groups can make posts on the platform, but not in the voice of the former president.
Some ads were rejected because they linked directly to Trump’s personal website, the company source explained.
“He can’t post at all”
“President Trump is suspended from Facebook so he can’t post at all,” the Facebook rep stressed.
Although it is not a full exoneration for Trump, who faced social media backlash in the wake of January’s riot on Capitol Hill, it represents a small victory for his cause.
Of course, Facebook subsequently censored a video of Trump, reportedly because it featured the sound of his voice. He has been criticizing Facebook and its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, in the days since the company extended his ban until 2023, thus hampering his outreach efforts for next year’s midterm races and a potential 2024 White House bid.
The solution, according to Trump, is to break up massive social media companies.
At a recent event in North Carolina, he sounded off on the perceived mistreatment he and his supporters have received from such tech firms, declaring: “They may allow me back in two years, we got to stop that, we can’t let it happen. So unfair, they’re shutting down an entire group of people.”