Apparently, the Trump campaign feels it needs to reach for something other than facts in their efforts to garner support ahead of the upcoming election. The campaign has been caught running ads on Facebook that feature deceptively edited images of Democratic presidential pick, Joe Biden. The images have been edited to make Biden’s skin appear more worn down, as if he’s older than he actually is. (Both Trump and Biden are in their 70s.) Trump and his political allies have consistently claimed that Biden is unfit for office on account of being too “weak” — although it’s Trump, not Biden, who has consistently garnered questions about his health through means like his abrupt visit to Walter Reed Medical Center last November.
‘President Donald Trump’s campaign launched a series of Facebook ads on Thursday featuring a manipulated photo of his presidential opponent Joe Biden edited to make the former vice president appear older. The ads, which label Biden “Sleepy Joe,” show him gazing out against a dark background with his mouth slightly agape. The Trump campaign is also running near-identical Facebook ads featuring the same text along with the original, unedited photo of Biden, in which his skin looks much brighter and healthier.’
Check out an image of the deceptive ad below, via HuffPost:
Facebook has taken huge sums of money from the Trump campaign — from August 27 through September 2 alone, the Trump campaign spent over $9 million on Facebook ads. (The Biden campaign, for comparison, spent $5.77 million in the same time period.) Facebook has a controversial policy of declining to fact-check political ads, which essentially opens the door the groups like the Trump campaign to use the platform to spread brazen lies. Facebook has only very rarely lifted a finger — for instance, they removed a clip that the Trump team posted in which the president claimed that kids are not susceptible to serious Coronavirus infection, which is false.
The actual content of the ads with the deceptively edited image of Biden was not much better than the misinformation of the image. The caption insisted that Trump “knows that the Fake News Media will never report accurately on his standing in the polls.” This claim, which the ad used to try and coerce viewers into filling out Trump’s own “poll,” is a lie. There is no evidence supporting the idea that media outlets suppress information about Trump’s true standing in polls.