- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 7, 2019

Facebook advertisements purchased by President Trump’s reelection team claims of violence being used to silence his supporters, refocusing attention on the platform’s new policies for political ads.

Mr. Trump’s reelection campaign began running more than 100 new ads on Facebook starting Wednesday that assert his supporters are under attack, each spot worded identically containing varying graphics and geared toward different demographics.

“The far left knows that they have NO CHANCE of defeating President Trump in 2020, so they’ve resorted to violence to try to silence the MILLIONS of American Patriots who voted for him,” the ads say. “We need to show radical left that they will NEVER be able to silence us with their violence and their hatred.”

The ads refer users to survey hosted on the Trump campaign website. Among the questions asked are, “Do you think that liberal mobs have resorted to violence and intimidation at Trump Rallies because they know they can’t win in 2020?”

Mr. Trump’s reelection campaign did not immediately return a message from The Washington Times requesting specific examples of the president’s supporters being attacked.

Eric Perrine, a spokesperson for the Trump campaign, said in an emailed statement that there are “numerous examples of the freedom loving Americans who support President Trump being assaulted or threatened,” HuffPost first reported.

Mr. Perrine referred HuffPost to a Breitbart News article that claimed to catalog hundreds of acts of violence conducted against Trump supporters, though “many of the incidents listed link back to questionable news sources and dead websites,” the website reported.

Mr. Trump’s reelection campaign has advertised heavily on Facebook during the past 18 months, spending more than $21 million on the social network since May 2018.

Facebook has faced repeated calls during that same span to rein in political ads on its platform, however, especially in light of concerns raised on the heels of the company recently acknowledging that political ads will not be subjected to the same fact-checking scrutiny as other spots.

Both the Democratic National Committee and the 2020 presidential campaign of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden previously asked Facebook to reject an earlier Trump ad that they characterized as misleading, but the social network refused and said it was allowed under the new ad policy.

Other Democrats have since utilized the policy for their own campaigns, including Shahid Buttar, a congressional hopeful who last week began running blatantly bogus ads targeting his 2020 opponent, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Twitter, one of the nation’s biggest social networks besides Facebook, recently said it would ban political ads altogether starting this month, meanwhile.

Facebook did not immediately return a message from The Times requesting comment.

The social network has taken action against Trump campaign ads in the past, though: the Popular Information newsletter reported in August that a Trump ad was pulled for violating the platform’s rules against making “direct or indirect assertions or implications about a person’s … gender identity.”

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