- Facebook Bans Ads from the Conservative News Outlet Epoch Times
by Zachary Halaschak, https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/, 23 Aug 2019
Facebook has banned conservative news outlet Epoch Timesfrom advertising on its platform.
The news organization spent more money on ads supporting President Trump than any group, except the Trump campaign itself. The organization reportedly shifted its spending on Facebook in the past month in order to obscure its connection to $2 million in ads advocating for fringe conspiracy theories and promoting the president, NBC News reports.
“Over the past year we removed accounts associated with the Epoch Times for violating our ad policies, including trying to get around our review systems,” a spokesperson for Facebook said. “We acted on additional accounts today and they are no longer able to advertise with us.”
The spokesperson said the move came after a review and noted that ads on the platform must include disclaimers that accurately portray who is sponsoring them.
A recent investigation found that the Epoch Times had promoted conspiracy theories. Many of those who run the news organization are followers of the Falun Gong spiritual movement, who believe that Judgment Day is nigh, and that Trump is helping to accelerate its approach.
Since 2016, the Epoch Times’ revenue has more than doubled and has attracted millions of more viewers to its content. The Facebook ban will only affect the Epoch Times’ ability to run ads, but other shell pages associated with the group are still live.
Jason Fakkert, Editor-in-Chief of U.S. editions of The Epoch Times, stated that his publication “disputed the claims [by NBC] in the strongest terms.” In a letter to readers, Fakkert said the Epoch Times was “a proudly independent news organization dedicated to truthful reporting” and characterized NBC’s report as part of “a new low that media are willing to drop to in an effort to quash voices they don’t agree with.”