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Facebook pulls Trump immigration ad criticized as racist

Social network says the ad violated its rules against "sensational content."

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
James Martin

Facebook on Monday said it's removing a controversial immigration ad by President Donald Trump's reelection campaign for violating its rules against "sensational content."


Facebook is removing this Trump campaign ad for violating its rules against sensational content.

Screenshot from Facebook's ad archive

The move by the world's largest social network comes after major television outlets, including CNN, NBC and Fox News, refused to run the ad with some deeming it "racist," according to The Daily Beast. The 30-second ad features Luis Bracamontes, an undocumented immigrant who was convicted of killing two California sheriff's deputies in 2014. It attempts to falsely connect Bracamontes' crimes to the migrant caravan making its way from Mexico to the US border. 

"This ad violates Facebook's advertising policy against sensational content so we are rejecting it. While the video is allowed to be posted on Facebook, it cannot receive paid distribution," a Facebook's spokesperson said in a statement to CNET. 

On Facebook, the ad targeted voters in midterm battleground states Florida and Arizona ahead of the US midterm elections on Tuesday, according to the social network's ad archive. 

"America cannot allow this invasion. The migrant caravan must be stopped. President Trump and his allies will protect our border and keep our families safe," according to the ad, which urges viewers to vote Republican.

Facebook has a higher standard for ads compared with what users are allowed to post on the social network. Facebook's rules bar ads from containing "shocking, sensational, disrespectful or excessively violent content."

But the video remains posted, for example, on a Facebook page for the campaign manager for Trump's 2020 reelection campaign and has since been shared on Trump's official Facebook page

Trump's reelection campaign didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

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