In a recent revelation, the conduct of two of the biggest tech companies in the world and their role in affecting elections is back into sharp focus once again. According to a report on Bloomberg, Facebook and Google collaborated with the outfit Secure America Now to push anti-immigration ads in swing states just weeks prior to the US presidential elections last year. The campaign ads had been pushed in states like Nevada and North Carolina among others.

Anti-Muslim migration campaign

Fear mongering regarding mass Muslim immigration has been a familiar trope of plenty of right-wing election campaigns in many countries and the large tech companies have often been used as the medium to spread those messages.

However, the Bloomberg report claims that the Facebook and Google helped the organization Secure America Now with their anti-Muslim migration messaging in some of the key states in the lead up to the elections last year. The ads were disseminated in the news feeds of Facebook users in states like Nevada and North Carolina, while the same happened in websites connected to Google.

According to the report, this particular campaign had absolutely no connection to the Russian social media campaign to influence the elections. The entire operation was carried out by Americans who got total support from employees at Google and Facebook to carry out their campaign. The employees at these two tech giants helped in making sure that the targetted advertising reached the audience for whom it was intended.

Inflammatory messaging

One of the ads, that has been published by Bloomberg can be particularly upsetting for people who might be apprehensive of mass Muslim immigration. The imagery and messaging in that ad is particularly inflammatory. The ad is in the form of a run of the mill tourism ad but the imagery shows Germany and France under Sharia Law, while the iconic Mona Lisa is shown draped in the Muslim headdress. Jihadi training of school children in France was also shown in that video.

Secure America Now is a non-profit conservative organization that had millions of dollars in its advertising budget in their campaign against Hillary Clinton and mass Muslim migration. Google and Facebook were in a fight for these advertising dollars from Secure America Now. Harris Media, an advertising agency operating out of Austin, Texas handled the digital content and one of their employees told Bloomberg, “It (the ads) was designed to strike fear in people’s heart.,”