Facebook removed a paid ad by the anti-Trump Lincoln Project on Monday after the social media platform concluded the video featuring lawyer Lin Wood and far-right activist Nick Fuentes violated its rules against delegitimizing elections.
The 90-second sponsored video was an effort by the group to discourage Republicans from voting in Georgia’s Senate runoff on Tuesday, with Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler up against Democrat Raphael Warnock and GOP Sen. David Perdue facing Democrat Jon Ossoff.
“We don’t allow ads that delegitimize the outcome of the election, so we’re rejecting these ads for violating this policy,” a Facebook spokesperson told the Washington Examiner.
The Lincoln Project ad (titled Why would you go back and vote in another rigged election?) included footage of both Fuentes and Wood saying Republicans should withhold their votes on Tuesday. It showed Fuentes proclaiming that “we are going to destroy the GOP” during a December event in Washington, D.C., and Wood at a rally in Georgia telling the crowd that “we’re not gonna vote on your damn machines made in China.”
The ad went up on Jan. 2, and the Lincoln Project put between $10,000 and $15,000 behind it, potentially reaching between 100,000 and 500,000 people. It was deactivated Monday evening, according to Facebook’s ad library. The group has spent $7.1 million total on Facebook since it was created.
Facebook also pointed the Washington Examiner to its election ad policies.
“Ads targeting the US with the following content aren’t allowed: Ads that portray voting or census participation as useless/meaningless and/or advise users not to vote or participate in a census,” Facebook’s rules stipulate, as well as “ads that delegitimize any lawful method or process of voting or voting tabulation (including in-person voting on paper or on machines, absentee voting, vote by mail, and lawful collection of ballots) as illegal, inherently fraudulent or corrupt, or will result in a fraudulent or corrupt election administration or outcome.”
The same Lincoln Project video currently has more than 465,000 views on Twitter and has not been hit with an election warning label.
Wood, a Trump-allied lawyer from whom Trump’s legal team has attempted to distance itself, embraces QAnon conspiracy tropes and has fired off evidence-free and sometimes violent accusations from his large Twitter account, including claiming on New Year’s Day that “when arrests for treason begin” Chief Justice John Roberts, Vice President Mike Pence, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should be put “at top of list.” He followed up by alleging that Pence might be arrested and “will face execution by firing squad.”
As for Fuentes, at least one segment of his online show featured Holocaust denial, with Fuentes questioning whether 6 million Jews were really murdered by the Nazi regime and laughing as he compared the burning of human bodies to baking cookies in an oven, which he has since said was just a joke.
“There are only two sides in American politics now. There is the American side and the Autocratic side. May God help us all if we falter, flag or fail in defense of American democracy,” Steve Schmidt, a co-founder of the Lincoln Project, tweeted this weekend.
President Trump, who has refused to concede the November presidential election to President-elect Joe Biden, held a Monday night rally in Georgia on the eve of the two Senate races.