Extremist Group Advertising on Meta Platforms

Meta, Facebook’s parent company, is currently running ads for Protect Texas Kids, founded by right-wing extremist Kelly Neidert, to run ads “baselessly calling people pedophiles.” journalist Steven Monacelli reported today (Saturday September 3) via Twitter. “Meta helped these ads reach thousands of people.”

According to screenshots of the ad – which began airing on September 1 and is labeled as “sponsored” and “paid for by Protect Texas Kids” – shows that it features photos from the drag brunch held on Sunday 28 August at Anderson Distillery and grills in Roanoke. Copy with photos reads: ‘ROANOKE, Texas: Communist pedophiles with skinny guns from the John Brown Club stand guard outside a pedophile ritual involving children, with people on rooftops to act as snipers.”

Members of a John Brown Club neighborhood arrived at the event armed to ensure the safety of those in attendance, as right-wing protesters, including Neidert, had shown up to protest the drag brunch and harass attendees. One of the demonstrators was indeed carrying a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire, while Monacelli noted in his report for Dallas Voice Friday, September 2.

According to another screenshot tweeted by Monacelli, Protect Texas Kids spent between $100 and $199 on the ad, which had racked up between 15,000 and 20,000 “impressions”, with the number of impressions being the “number of times where these ads were seen on a screen”. .”

Monacelli also notes in his Twitter feed that in August, Meta “allowed Protect Texas Kids to spend a few thousand dollars on ads that baselessly labeled people as pedophiles and affected hundreds of thousands of people.” Attached to that tweet were screenshots of a Protect Texas Kids Meta ad that ran August 20-28 on Facebook and Instagram that apparently included photos of Mr. Mister, a bar on Cedar Springs Road that hosted in June a drag event for families. with children in the hours before the bar opens to the public. No alcohol was served at this event. Copy with photo says “Woke child molesters use sheets to hide children as they introduce them to a sexually explicit drag show.”
By the way, the show was not “sexually explicit”.

According to another screenshot, Protect Texas Kids spent between $1,500 and $2,000 on this ad, which received between 450,000 and 500,000 impressions.

Neidert was suspended from Twitter after he tweeted, “Let’s start bringing people together at Pride events” on June 18, in the middle of LGBTQ Pride Month. Neidert, a graduate of North Texas State University at Denton last May, apparently founded Protect Texas Kids earlier this year and promotes her organization as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit. Unlike 501(c)(3) organizations, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit “may engage in political campaign advocacy activities as long as those activities do not represent their primary business”, according to NonProfitLawBlog.com.

— Tammye Nash

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