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Facebook shares news: Platform removes ‘racist’ Trump election ad

Facebook shares closed lower in the US Monday, as the tech giant removed a political ad from the Trump campaign, as it was designated as ‘racist’. The ad began showing on the social media platform on Sunday and shows a caravan of immigrants heading to the US.

Facebook’s removal of the ad follows decisions by Fox News and NBC to stop airing the advert, while CNN chose not to allow it to air at all.

Facebook shares ended the US Monday trading session 1.11% lower at $148.68. However, the stock is currently a little in the green in out-of-hours activity.

Facebook bans Trump ad

The ad was first shown on Facebook on Sunday. It then quickly gained an audience and received almost 11 million impressions, after being shown mainly to users in Arizona and Florida.

Facebook removed the ad from its site, Monday.

“This ad violates Facebook's advertising policy against sensational content so has been rejected,” Facebook said in a statement. “While the video is allowed to be posted on Facebook, it cannot receive paid distribution.”

Reports suggest that at least $7,300 has been spent to promote the ad from Trump’s official Facebook page.

Inauthentic activity

Separately, Facebook said that after being alerted on Sunday by US law enforcement, it had removed 30 Facebook accounts and 85 Instagram accounts “that may be engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior.”

These accounts have been blocked and are being investigated by Facebook.

Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy Nathan Gleicher said in a blog post that the accounts on Facebook appear to be in French and Russian. Meanwhile, the Instagram accounts are mainly in English. Together they target celebrity and political debate.

“Typically, we would be further along with our analysis before announcing anything publicly. But given that we are only one day away from important elections in the US, we wanted to let people know about the action we’ve taken and the facts as we know them today,” Gleicher said.

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