On the eve of an antitrust hearing before the House of Representatives, digital ads giant Google is refusing to run an ad from Priorities USA Action and Color of Change PAC that features news clips of police violence being sanctioned by President Donald Trump. These ads are being censored despite similar ads being approved for the Trump campaign. Verizon and Hulu have similarly rejected the ad, while Facebook, Vevo and miQ have approved it with no changes.
The ad in question, Police State, is part of a $3.4 million program scheduled to run from August 1st through Election Day in Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. The campaign includes social, digital radio, video, and digital TV placements, with an emphasis on mobile, targeting Black voters, with an emphasis on younger Black voters who are “Trump-curious” or undecided about Joe Biden. Priorities USA has previously announced that it will spend $24 million on mobilization, vote-by-mail and base consolidation programs to target Black and Latino voters.
As Donald Trump continues to send more federal law enforcement officers into cities to incite violence and chaos, this will continue to be one of the major issues of the campaign.
“Donald Trump is abusing law enforcement powers to declare war on Black people and other peaceful protestors across the country. It’s important to reflect this very real depiction of Donald Trump’s America and we must be allowed to hold him accountable for his actions ahead of the election. The decision by Google and other online platforms to censor our ads while allowing Trump to use violence in his own ads only exacerbates the problem and prevents our elected officials from being held accountable for their dangerous actions,” said Jenn Stowe, Deputy Executive Director, Priorities USA. “Anti-violence content policies were clearly put in place for good reasons, but we don’t live in reasonable times. With Trump continuing to stoke violence across the country as a political tactic, ad vendors must reevaluate their policies to ensure the issues facing voters in this election are not being censored by their out-of-date policies.”
“Donald Trump is a menace to Black people and is using every tool he can to terrorize us, including law enforcement,” said Rashad Robinson, spokesperson for Color Of Change PAC. “This is a fact. Google’s decision to censor this reality while turning a blind eye to the horrible violence in his ad will only embolden him and encourage others to use similar tactics. Moreover, it is a systemic pattern. Google and other tech companies continue to get ad and content moderation wrong– censoring Black voices while amplifying white nationalists. We’re calling for tech companies to update their policies to allow pertinent, truthful images to reach voters and forbid Trump and white nationalists from further skating by on woeful technicalities.”