Facebook reportedly pulled an ad from President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign that targeted women because it was in violation of its ads policies.
Popular Information reached out to Facebook about the ad, arguing it was in violation of the social media company’s prohibition against identifying “personal attributes.”
In this case, the personal attribute was gender identity — womanhood.
Facebook’s advertising guidelines explain that “ads must not contain content that asserts or implies personal attributes,” including, among other things, “direct or indirect assertions or implications about a person’s … gender identity.”
The ad in question pictures a group of women with the caption, “the Women for Trump Coalition needs the support of strong women like you!”
“The Women for Trump Coalition needs the support of strong women like you!” pic.twitter.com/vR2QzNAFq5
— God ✝️ Country?? Freedom?? Deplorable ? (@therealme2756) August 21, 2019
In other words, it is apparently wrong to assert the people in the picture are women, and if you look like them, you should not feel any pressure to identify that way.
Facebook confirmed to both Popular Information and Gizmodo that the ad was out of compliance with its rules.
Facebook revealed in April that its political ad reviewing system is primarily automated, relying on artificial intelligence.
“We know that machines and human reviewers make mistakes, which is why the ad review system and enforcement aren’t perfect and we won’t catch every ad,” a spokesperson told Gizmodo.
A Los Angeles Times headline last month read, “Trump’s big, early lead in Facebook ads deeply worries Democratic strategists.”
Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale, who ran the president’s digital operation in 2016, knows the importance of online targeted advertising.
According to The Times, the campaign has spent $15.5 million in digital ads so far this year.
By comparison, the closest Democrat, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, had spent $5.5 million.
The Trump campaign is targeting key battleground states, including Florida, Ohio, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Do not be surprised going forward if Trump’s campaign ads continue to receive complaints from many corners that they are somehow out of compliance with various rules — real, imagined or ridiculous.
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