Facebook: Trump posts misleading ad using Ukraine photo

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A photo from Ukraine of pro-democracy protestersImage source, Mstyslav Chernov
Image caption,
The image of protesters in Ukraine was taken in 2014

A post by Donald Trump's official Facebook account purports to show violence in the US but is in fact of an event in another country.

The advert shows one image of Mr Trump in a calm setting talking to police officers beside another of a security official being surrounded by protesters, saying: "Public safety vs chaos and violence".

However, the image is a photo from a pro-democracy protest in Ukraine in 2014.

Facebook have told the BBC they won't be taking any action against the post but gave no further comment.

What does the ad show?

The post reads "Evangelicals For Trump are ready to help re-elect President Donald J Trump."

On the image on the right, the officer is wearing a badge on his shoulder.

However, it is an insignia not recognisable as one US police wear - it's a Coptic cross seen in countries which practice Orthodox Christianity.

Image source, Donald Trump's Facebook page
Image caption,
This image featured on the Facebook ad posted on Donald Trump's official Facebook page

Using a reverse image search shows that the image is actually from Ukraine and was first posted in 2014, during the revolution that overthrew the government.

The security official pictured is in fact not a US police officer. That badge was worn by members of the "Internal Troops of Ukraine", a now disbanded section of the national military that also assisted with policing.

The image is also on the Wikipedia page about the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution, and says it shows events in February 2014 when security officials clashed with anti-government protesters.

The old photo in the advert was picked up by a former Hillary Clinton staffer Jesse Lehrich in tweet that has been widely shared.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
US President Donald Trump has previously condemned social media companies for what he claims is bias

Who's seen it?

President Trump's Facebook page has more than 30 million followers.

The imagery appears to have been made by campaign group "Evangelicals for Trump" and has mostly reached users in Florida and Texas who are older than 55, according to Facebook's estimates.

Social media companies Facebook and Twitter have taken steps in recent months to label posts by public officials.

Facebook has begun labelling posts on the pages of both the president and Joe Biden - the Democratic Party's nominee for president in November's election - with links to official information.

We have asked Mr Trump's campaign team for a response.