In the campaign for the re-election of President Donald Trump, an advertisement is running suggesting that he is “still” in office. It shows screaming liberals and Trump’s smiling face on a rising sun in an ad that exploits a political loophole in Facebook advertising.
The Trump campaign has prepared a victory ad featuring the 19th century classical composer Edvard Grieg’s “Morning” song, also known as “Morning Mood”, to illustrate the “day after” the upcoming election. “It’s morning in America, and”, so the ad begins, showing blooming flowers, before the edited sound declares: “Donald J. is STILL President of the United States”. The 15-second video is currently “inactive” to comply with Facebook’s rule that it will not accept new ads between October 27 and November 3.
Trump posted this Facebook ad, which seems to indicate that he won the election (since no new ads are allowed from today, advertisers had to have at least 1 impression to run later). Ads claiming an early victory are said to violate FB rules https://t.co/ehrl92SBOq pic.twitter.com/Gcrs5CVZ9J
– Meg Graham (@megancgraham) October 27, 2020
Although Facebook has announced that it will remove all political ads immediately after the polls close on election day, the campaign clip can be withdrawn if Trump wins next Tuesday. Facebook’s advertising policy states that it will not allow political advertisements that contain “premature claims of election victory.
The ad, which Facebook set to “inactive” on the Monday before the deadline, can be withdrawn at any time after the election, although the company plans to stop all political ads immediately after the election is over. The company announced the move last week to reduce voter confusion, particularly over concerns that Trump might refuse to leave the White House if he lost to Joe Biden.
But any complaint filed publicly before the October 27 deadline – when the complaint was “still president” – can be withdrawn without penalty.
Facebook announced that as part of “preventive measures to protect the integrity of the upcoming U.S. elections in 2020” it will turn off the ads when the election ends on November 3. Other social media giants, including YouTube, announced that they will add “results may not be final” disclaimers on videos to eliminate paid-for political content aimed at destroying controversial election results.
However, YouTube, which is owned by Google under Alphabet, does not have a disclaimer plan to directly address false or premature claims of victory in the hours and after election night.
The animated video clip bears the caption “President Trump is STILL your President” and overlays Trump’s face amidst fluttering birds and soft music of the sun. Several blooming flowers show the face of Jessica Starr, who became famous through Internet memes and gifs after she screamed in mortal terror during Trump’s inauguration on January 20, 2017.
Trump has spent about $6 million on Facebook advertising, compared to the $8.5 million spent by the Biden campaign in this 2020 election cycle. But PACs campaigning with partners have spent more than $106 million since 2018 on ads that point to the Trump administration.
Tekk.tv promoted the Trump re-election campaign on Tuesday afternoon and on Facebook for reactions. Facebook declined to comment.