Facebook and Google are being accused of aiding a scare campaign and influencing the 2016 presidential race.
Google and Facebook allegedly cashed-in their progressive values for millions of dollars worth of anti-immigration advertising money.
Bloomberg reports that the tech giants competed with each other for ad revenue from Secure America Now during the 2016 US presidential election.
The advocacy group ran a video campaign aimed at the nation’s swing voters, showing France and Germany, and later the US itself, being overrun by Sharia law. The scare strategy was used to drum up support for Donald Trump and his anti-immigration stance. The ads appeared in Facebook feeds and on Google websites.
The hard-line anti-Islam ads show French schoolchildren being trained to fight for the caliphate, and jihadi fighters celebrating at the Arc de Triomphe.
According to Bloomberg, this American-led campaign was aided directly by the tech giants. Facebook and Google helped target the ads to more efficiently reach the intended audiences in states like Nevada (Democrat win) and North Carolina (Republican win).
Then earlier this year, Facebook worked closely with Germany’s anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party which, with the help of Harris Media, became the first far-right nationalist movement to enter German Parliament since World War Two.
This was after Facebook co-founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, published a Facebook blog in January, condemning anti-immigration orders.
“The United States is a nation of immigrants, and we should be proud of that,” he wrote. “Like many of you, I’m concerned about the impact of the recent executive orders signed by President Trump… We need to keep this country safe, but we should do that by focusing on people who actually pose a threat.”
Officials for Facebook and Harris Media declined Bloomberg’s invitation to comment, and Secure America Now didn’t respond to interview requests.
Google also declined an interview, but a spokesperson for the company said it eventually blocked several ads from Secure America Now for violating its policies, including ads for the faux-tourism videos.