Trump reportedly using Facebook ads to insist he’s building wall – CNET

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that’s taken over our lives.


President Trump Arrives At The United Nations To Address The General Assembly

Offering wall-lovers reassurance?

John Moore / Getty Images

In recent days, it’s been unclear whether the much Trump-eted wall between Mexico and the US will be built.

Perhaps, though, it’s already being built, after a fashion.

After all, the president himself tweeted just last week: “The WALL, which is already under construction in the form of new renovation of old and existing fences and walls, will continue to be built.”

This was news to some.

As might be the suggestion — reported by BuzzFeed — that both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are using targeted Facebook ads to insist that the border wall will be built. 

The joy of targeted Facebook ads is that only selected people see them. To the rest of the world, they don’t exist, unless someone captures a screenshot and passes it on.

In this case, the ads from the Trump and Pence campaigns have similar wording and logic. 

They claim to be dispelling rumors surrounding the potential (or actual) wall-building. In capital letters, the Trump ad exclaims: “WE WILL BUILD A WALL (NOT A FENCE) ALONG THE SOUTHERN BORDER OF THE UNITED STATES TO STOP ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION AND TO KEEP AMERICA SAFE.”

They also carry the insistence that the wall-building is “non-negotiable.”

And then the ads ask for money. Both say: “Donate BIG today!” If you’re going to have a big wall, you need big money behind it.

It’s unclear whom the ads targeted. Neither the Trump nor the Pence camps immediately responded to a request for comment.

Some, though, might observe that this method closely follows that used by nefarious Russians during the election. Facebook has not allowed the world to see the ads that the Russians ran, but has reportedly handed details over to government-appointed investigators led by Robert Mueller. 

These targeted ads don’t just appear on Facebook. Should you be fortunate enough to be chosen, they follow you around the web. Here’s how to curtail this

And so we wait to see whether the wall will be built, is being built or even will never be built.

It’s wise, though, to turn to professionals to see what they think. Well, bookmaker Paddy Power offers odds of 5-6 that Trump will begin building a wall in 2017. 

It also offers odds of 25-1 that Trump will announce plans to open a hotel in Mexico in 2017.

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