Facebook Bars Pro-Trump Ads In Future From Epoch Times

The Epoch Times, a conservative news outlet, has been banned from advertising on Facebook. Their pro-Trump advertisements constitute a violation of policies related to political advertising on social media. The news outlet spent $2 million to buy Facebook ads supporting Trump and magnifying conspiracy theories about the President’s political rivals. Facebook, through its spokesperson, said that in the previous year we have removed Epoch Times accounts because it was violation of the policies of our company. This development came after NBC News reported that the Epoch Times had manipulated its multi-million-dollar spending to conceal its involvement in promoting the President.

The news outlet used to push pro-Trump advertisements on pages like “Honest Paper” and “Pure American Journalism”. This way, the Epoch Times could use dark-money to promote the republican President without leaving a trail leading to them. They bypassed Facebook’s transparency rules on political content and hence face a ban on future advertising. Originally a not-for-profit newspaper that published messages from the Chinese-American anti-communist movement, it transformed to a pro-Trump conservative agency that has allegedly published extreme content. The Epoch Times has spent more money on promoting Trump than any other organization. This amount was higher than the Democratic candidates spent in support of their own campaigns.

The dark-money funded campaign was largely responsible for the outlet’s increasing popularity. The ads displayed on social media would have links to generic websites that would ultimately lead to the subscription page of The Epoch Times. Republican strategist Brendan Steinhauser had advised the news outlet on the ways through which it could make inroads into the conservationist movement. Steinhauser told the media that he had introduced the Epoch Times to the CPAC and arranged multiple interactions with right-wing newsmakers. The Conservative Political Action Conference is attended by conservative activists and officials across the United States.

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