Facebook Glitch Causes Trump’s Ads to Disappear From Its Library

Demonstrators protest near the White House on May 31, 2020. Alex Wong/Getty Images

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Update 2:30 p.m. ET: Following publication of this story, a Facebook spokesperson informed Mother Jones that “a bug kept some ads from displaying in the Ad Library” this morning. The Trump campaign did not in fact pull its ads; they were simply not visible for a few hours. The original story is below.

After a tumultuous weekend of protests, on Monday morning President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign appears to have gone dark on Facebook.

The president has not addressed the nation as it undergoes historic unrest, with the exception of incendiary posts on Twitter and Facebook. On most days, the president’s campaign is running thousands of Facebook ads. But on Monday, the Trump campaign’s page in the Facebook Ad Library showed virtually none. 

The only ads running appeared to be a small number selling “Space Force” T-shirts.

The president’s advisers are evidently unsure about how to handle the present moment. Recently, campaign aides and Trump supporters have been pushing for the campaign to unleash its war chest on Joe Biden, while those in charge of the campaign have opted to hold off on such a broadside amid the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, the campaign has struggled to find a message that successfully works against Biden.

Now, with the nation at a standstill, crushed by a pandemic, an economic crisis, and protests against police brutality, Trump’s behemoth Facebook ad machine appears to be at a standstill as well.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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