In light of the recent allegations by the Chinese state media spread on Facebook and Instagram with undisclosed political ads that hold President Donald Trump responsible for the COVID-19 coronavirus, Facebook made a formal apology calling it an “error.” The ads were supposedly not classified as political. Facebook stated that it is in the process of fixing the problem.
Three Chinese media outlets, Xinhua, China Central Television and Global Times targeted users worldwide in English Chinese and Arabic, according to the Telegraph. The ads were an attempt to divert the attention away from China’s role in the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and shift the blame onto President Donald Trump.
In the ads viewed by millions of users, China proudly promotes its efforts in its fight against the COVID-19 while pushing the countries domestic outbreak into the background.
The ads suggest that President Trump is misguided and a racist. They insinuate that the virus originated in the United States. According to Breitbart one ad states, “(China) has taken stringent and forceful measures, and turned the tide on coronavirus.” Another suggests, “Trump’s disruption to China has severe consequences.”
Several of the ads exploited President Trump by centering in on his description of COVID-19 as the “Chinese Virus.”
Initially, the ads on Facebook ran without a political disclaimer. This allowed the hiding of information regarding who the ads were targeting and from where they came.
In the ads, President Trump and President Xi Xinping are clearly played against each other.
The Telegraph reached out to Facebook to which a spokesman replied that they would be looking into solving the problem immediately.