- The Daily Wire has spent thousands of dollars promoting articles about the Depp v. Heard trial.
- Most of the ads promoted articles and videos with a clear bias against Heard, Vice reported.
- They were promoted via the Facebook pages of right-wing figures such as Candace Owens, Vice said.
Conservative news platform The Daily Wire has spent tens of thousands of dollars on social media ads promoting articles about the Amber Heard and Johnny Depp defamation trial – most of them with a clear bias against Heard, Vice reported.
It has spent between $ 35,000 and $ 47,000 on Facebook and Instagram ads, amassing more than four million impressions, per Vice. In addition, many of the articles were promoted via the Facebook pages of prominent right-wing figures, including Candace Owens, the outlet added.
For example, The Daily Wire paid an estimated $ 20,000 to $ 25,000 to promote a single article titled “The Attempted Character Assassination of Johnny Depp” – a piece that initially included false claims, according to Vice.
After Vice contacted the Daily Wire, an editor’s note was added to the articlewhich said: “A previous version of this article incorrectly stated Depp was able to disprove 12 of the 14 allegations against him. It has been corrected to note he was not able to disprove 12 of the allegations.”
The article was promoted on Owens’ Facebook page, which has 5.4 million followers, Vice said.
Owens wrote in her post, which received three million impressions on Facebook and Instagram: “I hope Johnny Depp bankrupts Amber Heard with his lawsuit. It has been absolutely ridiculous to see what that woman has been allowed to do because she flew under the radar of the MeToo movement. “
“Amber Heard is the perfect example of what I refer to as ‘toxic femininity,'” Owens added.
The Daily Wire also spent between $ 10,700 and $ 15,799 promoting an article that gives a “partial account of the trial,” Vice reported. The article was also promoted on Owens’ page alongside a post where she described herself as “squarely team Depp.”
Meanwhile, another paid ad promoted by The Daily Wire included a video by conservative commentator Michael Knowles, who described Heard as “obviously a complete lunatic” while blaming Depp for “not taking control of his household.”
Vice reported that non-profit media group the Citizens had analyzed data from the Facebook ad library, which discloses how much is spent on adverts. The group found that The Daily Wire used the buzz surrounding the trial to draw attention to its site while also promoting its conservative views.
Founded by conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro in 2015, The Daily Wire has grown to become the second-most popular news publisher on Facebook. An analysis of nine US outlets by NPR last year found that The Daily Wire “received more likes, shares and comments on Facebook than any other news publisher by a wide margin.”
Depp is suing Heard, accusing her of ruining his career and reputation by insinuating in an op-ed article that she had been a victim of domestic violence at his hands. The defamation lawsuit asks for $ 50 million in damages.
The trial has captivated the internet for a month, with its intense fandoms, memes, and videos becoming ubiquitous on almost every platform.
The Daily Wire did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.