Facebook Removes Trump Ads with Misleading Information on Refugees and COVID-19

Facebook
Facebook has removed misleading Trump campaign ads, the social networking company said. Getty Images

Facebook announced Wednesday that it had removed misleading ads from the Trump campaign that made unsupported claims about refugees and the risk of spreading COVID-19, according to reports. The ads claimed that under Democratic candidate Joe Biden's immigration policies, there will be a greater risk of the spread of COVID-19, according to reports.

“We rejected these ads because we don’t allow claims that people’s physical safety, health, or survival is threatened by people on the basis of their national origin or immigration status,” Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone told NBC in a statement. 

The ads started running Tuesday and featured a video of Biden with written text asserting an increase in refugees would pose greater health risks for the country, NBC cited. There were at least 38 different versions of the ad released before Facebook determined it violated the company's advertising policies, the outlet reported.

The ads also made claims, without any evidence, that the candidate's policies on immigration would increase the number of refugees from Syria, Somalia, and Yemen by "700%", NBC reported.

In North Carolina, the ads received between 60,000 to 70,000 impressions before being removed. Impressions count the number of times content is displayed on an individual's feed –– regardless of clicks or engagement with the post. Another ad, which targeted Facebook users in Florida, received 5,000 to 6,000 impressions before it was taken down, NBC reported.

According to NBC, Trump's campaign reiterated in a statement that accepting refugees from abroad would further expose Americans to COVID-19. The United States currently has the highest number of confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in the world.

“When it comes to leading our nation through this crisis and delivering the Great American Comeback, Americans can rely on President Trump,” campaign spokesperson Courtney Parella said in a statement to the outlet.