US President Donald Trump is reportedly using targeted Facebook ads to reassure supporters that he still intends to build the US-Mexico border wall promised during his election campaign. The ads, versions of which appeared on the personal Facebook pages of Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, come amid questions raised over whether Trump will still keep his promise to construct the controversial physical southern wall running along the US border with Mexico that he said would be paid for by Mexico.
"There's been a lot of noise and a lot of rumours," the ad from Trump's personal Facebook page reads, BuzzFeed reports. "Let me set the record straight in the simplest language possible...
"WE WILL BUILD A WALL (NOT A FENCE) ALONG THE SOUTHERN BORDER OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA TO HELP STOP ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION AND KEEP AMERICA SAFE."
It continues: "Apparently liberals in Congress and the mainstream media need one more reminder that building the wall is non-negotiable. So please, join the movement and demand that we BUILD THE WALL!"
The ad includes a pitch for donations: "Donate BIG today!"
While the version of the ad that appears on Trump's Facebook page includes the all caps text, the one on Pence's page does not. The ad on the president's page also takes aim at the "mainstream media," while the vice president's slams the "Fake News media."
The "dark post ads" do not show up on the US leaders' timelines, but can only be seen by specific Facebook users targeted by the ad campaign. It is unclear whom the ads are targeted at.
It also comes after Trump tweeted last week that the wall "is already under construction in the form of new renovation of old and existing fences and wall" and will "continue to be built".
A White House spokesperson told BuzzFeed that the Facebook ads are being run by the Trump campaign.
IBTimes UK has reached out to Facebook and the Trump campaign for comment.
The targeted ads come as Facebook faces intense scrutiny after revealing that it sold about $100,000 (£74,470) worth of ads to hundreds of inauthentic accounts and pages likely linked to Russia during the election last year. It has also been reported that Russian operatives used Facebook to remotely organise anti-immigrant protests and pro-Trump rallies on US soil.
Last week, it was revealed that Facebook allowed marketers to target their promoted ads towards users who fell under categories like "Jew Hater" and "Nazi Party" and were interested in anti-Semitic topics such as "How to burn Jews", based on their Facebook behaviour. Facebook has since taken down the offensive categories and has vowed to block ad targeting based on derogatory terms.
"Hate has no place on Facebook — and as a Jew, as a mother, and as a human being, I know the damage that can come from hate. The fact that hateful terms were even offered as options was totally inappropriate and a fail on our part," Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said, announcing that the firm is looking to strengthen its ad targeting policies and tools.
"We hope these changes will prevent abuses like this going forward. If we discover unintended consequences in the future, we will be unrelenting in identifying and fixing them as quickly as possible. We have long had a firm policy against hate on Facebook.
"Our community deserves to have us enforce this policy with deep caution and care."