What Facebook Isn't Saying About Trump's and Clinton's Campaign Ads


According to Facebook, during the 2016 election, President Donald Trump’s campaign actually paid higher rates to advertise on the platform overall than Hillary Clinton’s campaign did. But, Facebook's chart does not show what the Clinton and Trump campaigns would have paid for an apples-to-apples ad buy. The majority of the roughly $70 million the Trump campaign spent on Facebook was for so-called “direct response” ads that ask people to take an action like, for instance, donating. The Clinton campaign, meanwhile, ran a more balanced operation, splitting its money between fundraising ads, persuasion ads that tried to convince people to vote for Clinton, and get-out-the-vote ads that aimed to get people to the polls. The key difference is that the Trump campaign experimented with ads on Facebook in a way no campaign had ever done before, running up to 175,000 variations of the same ad in a single day. 

Facebook has said it will launch an ad transparency tool that will house all of its political ads along with information on who’s paying for them, who they’re targeting, and how much it costs, among other things. But that won’t be ready until spring.

What Facebook Isn't Saying About Trump and Clinton's Campaign Ads