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 banned from Facebook following the attacks of January 6, 2021, when he told his followers to descend on the U.S. Capitol in an effort to stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election. Trump falsely claimed the vote had been rigged and that he was the real winner, urging his Vice President Mike Pence not to certify 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.
Other social media networks like Twitter and YouTube also lifted their bans on Trump in 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. U.S. history is obviously filled with dark chapters, including the assassination of four sitting presidents, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, September 11th, and that whole Civil War thing, just to name a few.
“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.
Another ad, which started to run on Friday insisted shadowy dark forces were at work to harm Trump and his 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.
The ad also asks Facebook users to contribute money to his campaign. Trump apparently raised more than $4 million in the day after it was announced a grand jury in New York had voted to indict him, according to NBC News. Trump is widely expected to surrender to authorities in Manhattan on Tuesday, where he’ll be fingerprinted and a mugshot will be taken.
Incredibly, Trump has surged in the polls among Republicans after news of his indictment was made public. When Republicans were asked who they preferred between Donald Trump and his presumptive Republican challenger, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Trump won by a huge margin. Trump was preferred by 57% of Republicans compared to just 31% for DeSantis, according to Yahoo News. 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 did not respond to a request for clarification on its rules Saturday morning. I’ll update this article if I hear back.