NBC and Fox News have said in statements that their networks will no longer air US President Donald Trump’s campaign’s anti-immigrant advertisement. Strangely, Facebook showed double standards and came under scrutiny for letting the Trump campaign — deemed as the most racially charged national political ad in 30 years — run on its platform. Even though the company declared that “this ad violates Facebook’s advertising policy against sensational content so we are rejecting it”, it added that “the video is allowed to be posted on Facebook” (but) “it cannot receive paid distribution.”
In other words, what Facebook — which has been seeing youngsters preferring to hang out on other media watering holes — seems to be saying is, it is now open to using conversations and debates on even the basest, most divisive themes as channels of engagement.
The racist ad
The ad released by the campaign last week, features Luis Bracamontes, a Mexican man who had previously been deported but returned to the US and was convicted in February in the killing of two California deputies, reports CNN.
“I’m going to kill more cops soon,” a grinning Bracamontes is shown saying in court as captions flash across the screen reading “Democrats let him into our country. Democrats let him stay”.
The ad also flashes footage of the migrant caravan of Central American asylum seekers that is currently in Mexico. “Who else would Democrats let in?” a caption asks.
“After further review, we recognise the insensitive nature of the ad and have decided to cease airing it across our properties as soon as possible,” it said in a statement.
Fox soon followed suit.
The ad ran about a dozen times on Fox News and Fox Business, combined, before being pulled.
Facebook also came under scrutiny for letting the Trump campaign run the ad on its platform. On Monday afternoon the company said “this ad violates Facebook’s advertising policy against sensational content so we are rejecting it. While the video is allowed to be posted on Facebook, it cannot receive paid distribution.”
On Twitter, Brad Parscale, Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, ignored the decision by Fox to pull the ad.
Instead, Parscale lambasted NBC, CNN, and Facebook and said the “#FakeNewsMedia” was “trying to control what you see and how you think”.
On Monday night, the President was asked about the controversy by a reporter.
He said: “I don’t know about it. I mean, you’re telling me something I don’t know about.” He added: “We have a lot of ads, and they certainly are effective based on the numbers we are seeing.”
When asked about the offensive nature of the ad, Trump said: “Well, a lot of things are offensive. Your questions are offensive a lot of the times.” (With IANS inputs)