Since June 16, Facebook has allowed former President Donald Trump’s political action committee to run thousands of ads on its platform, some of which have similar rhetoric to the election misinformation that contributed to the incitement of violence on January 6 and led to Trump’s two-year suspension from the platform.
Trump’s Save America Joint Fundraising Committee, a joint venture between his Make America Great Again PAC and his newer Save America leadership PAC, ran nearly 2,000 ads on four Facebook pages in the last two months. According to data from the Dewey Square Adwatch tool set, the political action committee paid Facebook anywhere from $25,000 to $220,000 for the ads, which earned between 5.3 and 8 million impressions. (Facebook’s Ad Library reports only a range for spending and impressions for each ad related to social issues, elections, or politics. It does not report an exact number.)
Media Matters previously reported on some of the PAC’s ads, including ads fundraising off Trump’s visit to the border, attacking President Joe Biden, supporting Trump and “the MAGA Movement,” and promoting rallies in Ohio and Florida.
Media Matters’ latest analysis found that Facebook has allowed Trump’s PAC to continue -- and even expand -- its advertising on the platform. The PAC now runs at least eight Facebook pages, five of which were created in June, and is sponsoring Facebook ads on four of the eight pages.
The four Facebook pages have run over 1,500 ads since our last report on July 6, with Facebook earning between $10,000 and $160,000 while Trump’s PAC garnered between 2.3 and 4.2 million impressions. At time of publication, 144 of the ads are active.
The PAC’s ads include ads promoting Trump’s rallies, attacking policies requiring children to wear masks in school, and attacking tech companies. Some ads even echo the language Trump utilized in the lead-up to the January 6 Capitol attack, calling for people to “defend our elections” and claiming only Trump can “save our country”:
- The PAC ran over 400 ads promoting Trump rallies, during which he often pushes election misinformation. These ads, including some that promote an upcoming rally in Alabama, earned Facebook up to $40,000 in revenue and received up to 800,000 impressions.
- The PAC ran at least 18 ads claiming that “Democrats want to require children to wear masks” and calling on Trump supporters to “fight back.” These ads earned Facebook up to $1,800 in revenue and received up to 50,000 impressions.
- The PAC ran at least 408 ads attacking tech companies and fundraising off of Trump’s lawsuit against them. These ads earned Facebook up to $43,000 in revenue and received up to 910,000 impressions.
- The PAC ran at least 92 ads calling on Trump supporters to “defend,” “protect,” and “secure our elections” and claimed, “Soon, our country will stand proudly for free and strong elections once again.” These ads earned Facebook up to $10,000 in revenue and received up to 200,000 impressions.
- The PAC ran at least 78 fundraising ads claiming, “President Trump is our ONLY hope to save our country.” These ads earned Facebook up to $7,700 in revenue and received up to 100,000 impressions.