Facebook, Google had role in anti-refugee ad campaign in swing states

Facebook and Google, companies that publicly support and advocate for immigrants and refugees, helped anti-immigrant and anti-refugee ad campaigns in swing states, according to a new report.

The tech giants’ ad teams worked “closely” with Secure America Now, a right-wing group whose campaigns included anti-Hillary Clinton and anti-Muslim messages, Bloomberg reports.

One video, which remains on YouTube, imagines the “Islamic State of France,” complete with a hijab-clad Mona Lisa and schools “training a new generation of fighters,” which is clearly meant to alarm people who might fear Muslims.┬áThe ads appeared on Google properties and on Facebook timelines to tout videos like this one:

The videos amount to scaremongering 2.0: highly targeted ads “designed to strike fear in people’s hearts,” a former digital ad agency employee told Bloomberg.

Facebook’s defense is that it didn’t work directly with Secure America Now, according to a source: The social network worked with ad agency Harris Media, and it did not develop specific creative content for Secure America Now.

As for Google: “We have strict policies that govern where we allow Google ads to appear and we enforce these policies vigorously,” a Google spokeswoman said Wednesday. “When we find ads that violate these policies, we immediately disapprove and stop showing them.”

When asked about specific videos, such as the one shown above, still viewable on YouTube, the Google spokeswoman reiterated the second sentence of the above statement.

For an update to this story, go to MercuryNews.com.


Photo by Associated Press


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  • bubba

    What’s the problem?

  • TheAmericanManual

    Um, Good?

    (and P.S., they didn’t Make the video. Do we want free speech, (and facts) or not?)
    (this article also says they “worked closely”. Also false)

  • Matt

    This article complaining about fearmongering is just so precious.