Facebook offered Trump lower ad rates than Biden: report

A ban on political ads on the platform went into effect Tuesday.

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Joe Biden paid more on average than President Donald Trump to run ads on Facebook between July 1 and Oct. 13, 2020, according to the nonprofit newsroom The Markup.

In August, when Trump wanted to warn older voters in Arizona that “The RADICAL Left has taken over Joe Biden and the Democratic Party,” Facebook charged his campaign an “estimated $14 for each 1,000 times the advertisement appeared in people’s feeds,” The Markup writes. 

A few days later, when Biden targeted that same demographic with a message about his plan to expand Medicare and cut drug prices, Facebook charged his campaign more than six times what Trump paid, “an estimated $91 per 1,000 views of his ad,” per the report. 

Read More: Facebook will suspend all political ads the day after Election Day

According to The Markup’s investigation, “the price difference wasn’t an anomaly.”

In July and August, Biden’s campaign paid more than double Trump’s average to run advertisements aimed at Facebook users in swing states.

“Their platform allows political campaigns to have broad reach into demographics like seniors and suburban women that are particularly valuable audiences in 2020,” political consultant Regan Opel told The Markup.

Facebook has defended its ad pricing during this election season.

“This article reflects a misunderstanding of how digital advertising works. All ads, from all advertisers, compete fairly in the same auction. Ad pricing will vary based on the parameters set by the advertiser, such as their targeting and bid strategy,” Joe Osborne, a Facebook spokesperson, told The Markup in an email statement.

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(Photo: Getty Images)

Collectively, Biden and Trump have spent $183 million on advertising on Facebook and Instagram this year, according to the report. 

Facebook will make an estimated $420 million on political ads, according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Meanwhile, a ban on political ads on Facebook went into effect Tuesday, and will last through this final week before the election on Nov. 3.

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