Former president Donald Trump started running Facebook ads on Friday calling his indictment, “the darkest chapter of American history.” And it’s an interesting strategy, considering Trump was banned from Facebook until very recently.
“BREAKING: I’VE BEEN INDICTED! We are living through the darkest chapter of American history,” the new ad campaign reads.
Trump was expelled from Facebook after the attack on January 6, 2021 when he called for his supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol to prevent the certification process of the 2020 presidential elections. Trump falsely claimed that the vote was rigged. His Vice President Mike Pence urged him not to certificate the election results.
Trump was subsequently banned from Facebook on January 7, 2021, but parent company Meta announced this past January that it would be lifting the ban “with guardrails.”
“In the event that Mr. Trump posts further violating content, the content will be removed and he will be suspended for between one month and two years, depending on the severity of the violation,” Meta explained in an announcement from Jan. 25, 2023.
Twitter, YouTube, and other social media sites have lifted Trump’s bans in the recent months.
But where does that leave Trump’s latest Facebook campaign? Trump’s new ad is filled with incendiary language, including his claim that this is somehow the darkest chapter of American history. The darkest chapters of American history include the assassination four presidents, the Japanese invasion on Pearl Harbor, September 11, and the whole Civil War.
“The Radical Left – the enemy of the hard-working men and women of this country – have INDICTED me in a disgusting witch hunt,” the new Facebook ad, which started running on Saturday, reads.
“This Witch Hunt will BACKFIRE MASSIVELY on Joe Biden,” the rambling ad continued.
A second ad that ran on Friday claimed shadowy forces had been at work to harm Trump’s followers.
“The Deep State will use anything at their disposal to shut down the one political movement that puts YOU first,” the ad reads.
While these Facebook ads might read as perfectly normal to most Americans, given the way that Trump has changed politics over the past eight years, but using words like “enemy” and “disgusting” to talk about your political opponents was unheard of in mainstream political ads before Trump entered the scene.
A Facebook ad asks users to make donations to support his campaign. According to NBC News, Trump raised $4 million within a day of his arrest by a New York grand jury. Trump is widely expected to surrender to authorities in Manhattan on Tuesday, where he’ll be fingerprinted and a mugshot will be taken.
Amazingly, Trump’s indictment has caused a surge in Republican polls. Florida governor was chosen as the Republican choice when Republicans were asked which candidate they would prefer between Donald Trump, his presumptive Republican rival. Trump defeated Ron DeSantis in a decisive win. According to Yahoo News, Trump won 57% and DeSantis 31% respectively. That’s a big swing from two weeks ago, before news of Trump’s indictment broke, when the split was 47% for Trump and 39% for DeSantis.
Facebook has not responded to my Saturday morning request for clarifications about its rules. I’ll update this article if I hear back.