Although Facebook banned former President Donald Trump until at least 2023 for claiming that the 2020 election was stolen, new ads from his "Team Trump" group still appear on the social media platform, Axios reports.
The Save America group, which is affiliated with Trump, has paid more than $3,500 on Facebook ads since June 13. The ads, which began running on Monday, promote the former president’s "Save America" rally set for this Saturday in Ohio, his first event since leaving office, and ask for donations to "stop" President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
A spokesperson for Facebook told Axios that "President Trump is suspended from Facebook, so he can't post at all. Groups affiliated with the former president are not barred from posting on Facebook, so long as they are not posting in his voice."
He also said that some of the group’s ads had been rejected for including a link to the website DonaldJTrump.com.
Katie Harbath, a fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center and ex- public policy director at Facebook, said allowing groups affiliated with Trump to continue using the platform is "a clear gap/loophole in the policy."
She added, "I think it shows we need more detail from FB and Twitter about what it means when you de-platform a politician and which of their connected entities also get banned because of their connection."
Facebook suspended Trump following the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, and its oversight board determined in early June that the former president would remain suspended until January 2023, "if the risk to public safety has receded."
Facebook Vice President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg wrote in a blog post for the company: "In establishing the two year sanction for severe violations, we considered the need for it to be long enough to allow a safe period of time after the acts of incitement, to be significant enough to be a deterrent to Mr. Trump and others from committing such severe violations in future, and to be proportionate to the gravity of the violation itself."
Trump claimed in a statement following the announcement that his suspension is "an insult to the record-setting 75M people, plus many others, who voted for us in the 2020 Rigged Presidential Election. They shouldn't be allowed to get away with this censoring and silencing, and ultimately, we will win. Our Country can't take this abuse anymore!"
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