Meta is profiting from ads from former President Donald Trump’s newly reinstated Facebook page that feature his Truth Social posts and solicit donations.
Media Matters has identified 62 ads from Trump’s Facebook page that were created on March 28 and 29 and feature three of his Truth Social posts. According to data from the Dewey Square Adwatch tool set, Facebook has already earned up to $7,000 on these ads, which have earned up to 101,000 impressions so far.
In February, Meta reinstated Trump’s accounts on its platforms, two years after he had been temporarily suspended “following his praise for people engaged in violence at the Capitol on January 6.” The company claims that the decision to reinstate Trump was based on “the serious risk to public safety” having “sufficiently receded.” However, Trump’s repeated use of his own social media platform, Truth Social, to post extreme and false content over the last two years signals otherwise.
Trump's Facebook page is the largest buyer of political ads on the platform since 2018. He has repeatedly paid Meta to run ads that push baseless claims of voter fraud and spread manipulated images of President Joe Biden. During his suspension, Trump’s PACs were still allowed to run ads claiming that he was the “true president,” promoting rallies where he continued to spread election misinformation, and raising funds on his behalf.
On March 18, Trump started running Facebook ads from his own page for the first time since Meta allowed him to return to the platform and gave him full advertising access. Now, Meta is profiting from Trump ads that feature content from his Truth Social account, where he frequently shares posts that seemingly violate Meta’s policies.
For example, Trump recently took to Truth Social to announce that he expected Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office to indict and arrest him on Tuesday, March 21, telling his followers to “PROTEST” and “TAKE OUR NATION BACK” — seemingly violating Meta’s new policy concerning public figures inciting civil unrest. Trump has also repeatedly used his Truth Social account to push election misinformation, attack and incite violence against his political foes, and promote the QAnon conspiracy theory, proving he’s too dangerous for Meta’s platforms.
Facebook often acts as a bridge for users to access more extreme content on alternative social media platforms. It has also historically profited from ads that direct users to such platforms: In August 2021, for example, Media Matters found that Facebook was paid over $200,000 for more than 75 ads directing users to Parler, Gab, Rumble, and Telegram.
The latest ads from Trump serve the dual purpose of requesting donations for Trump and directing users to his Truth Social account. One Truth Social post reads, “They’re not coming after ME, They’re coming after YOU — and I am standing in their way!” Trump has invoked sentiments similar to this since his first term, and has been repeating the phrase during his recent campaigning. Another post claims that the “UNITED STATES IS IN A PERIOD OF GREAT NATIONAL DECLINE,” while a third claims that China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and other countries “no longer respect the U.S., BUT THEY WILL!!!”