The ads have been run by merchandise companies that have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on Facebook over the last few years.
Facebook has made more than $280,000 from ads run by “Ride the Red Wave” since May, according to data reviewed by CNN. The page has fewer than 10,000 followers, but by paying Facebook the people running the page can potentially reach millions of Americans.
“Next Level Goods,” another page, run by a different company, has spent more than $500,000 on Facebook ads since 2019. The company regularly uses Facebook to advertise anti-vaccine t-shirts.
A spokesperson for Meta, Facebook’s parent company, said the ads comparing the US Covid-19 response to Nazi Germany, comparing vaccines to the Holocaust, and the ad suggesting the vaccine was poison went against Facebook’s vaccine misinformation policies.
However, considering these violating ads ran on its platform, Facebook’s detection systems seemingly missed them.
CNN also asked about the ad that read “Make Hanging Traitors Great Again,” but Facebook did not say that ad broke its policies.
Facebook, she said, also appears to have a lighter-touch moderation approach to ads from seemingly commercial pages, like those selling t-shirts, compared to pages associated with political campaigns.
“You will find a lot more of the really strong rhetoric printed on a t-shirt much more than you will see in a straight persuasion ad,” she told CNN.