Mike Bloomberg exploited a loophole to run messages promoting his campaign on the accounts of popular Instagram personalities. Now Facebook has decided to allow candidates to run such “branded content” — paid political messages that aren't ads.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook decided Friday to allow a type of paid political message that had sidestepped many of the social network's rules governing political ads. Its policy change...
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook decided Friday to allow a type of paid political message that had sidestepped many of the social network’s rules governing political ads.Its policy change comes days after presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg exploited a loophole to run such humorous messages promoting his campaign on the accounts of popular Instagram personalities followed by millions of younger people.
The change involves what Facebook calls “branded content” — sponsored items posted by ordinary users who are typically paid by companies or organizations. Advertisers pay the influential users directly to post about their brand.Facebook makes no money from such posts and does not consider them advertising. As a result, branded content isn’t governed by Facebook’s advertising policies, which require candidates and campaigns to verify their identity with a U.S. ID or mailing address and disclose how much they spent running each ad.
Until Friday, Facebook tried to deter the use of paid posts through influential users as political messages. Specifically, it barred political campaigns from using a tool designed to help advertisers run branded posts on Facebook and Instagram, which is owned by Facebook. Friday’s rule change will now allow campaigns in the U.S. to use this tool, provided they’ve been authorized by Facebook to run political ads and disclose who paid for the sponsored posts.
The Bloomberg campaign took the unconventional step of paying social media influencers — individuals with huge followings — to post Bloomberg memes using their Instagram accounts. Different versions of the sponsored posts from the Bloomberg campaign ran on more than a dozen influential Instagram accounts, each of which have millions of followers.
That effort skirted many of the rules that tech companies have imposed on political ads to safeguard U.S. elections from malicious foreign and domestic interference and misinformation. Onlinepolitical adshave been controversial, especially after it was revealed Russia used them in an attempt to influence the 2016 presidential election. In response, Facebook has rolled out a number of rules to prevent a repeat of that, though it has declined to fact-check political ads and refuses to ban even blatently false messages.
The Bloomberg campaign’s memes showed the 78-year-old candidate, in a tongue-in-cheek awkward fashion, chatting with popular social media influencers with names like “Tank Sinatra,” asking them to help him raise his profile among younger folk.“Can you post a meme that lets everyone know I’m the cool candidate?” Bloomberg wrote in one of the exchanges posted by an account called F(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk) Jerry, which has nearly 15 million followers on Instagram. The candidate then sent a photo of him wearing baggy chino shorts, an orange polo and a zip-up vest.
F(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk) Jerry’s account then replied, “Ooof that will cost like a billion dollars.” Bloomberg responded by asking where to send the money.With the sponsored posts, Bloomberg’s campaign said it was reaching those who might not be normally interested in the day-to-day of politics.
“You want to engage people at every platform and you want them to feel like they’re not just getting a canned generic statement,” campaign spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said of the campaign’s strategy.The Bloomberg posts weren’t much more than self-deprecating humor used to sell a candidate’s old guy appeal, using a tactic that until now was largely used to sell skin care products or clothing-subscription services. But the lack of oversight and clear rules around influencer marketing, not to mention their effectiveness in reaching younger audiences, makes them ripe for misuse.
It’s not yet clear if Facebook’s sudden policy change will close all the loopholes, though the company says the issue represents a new territory and its approach could change over time.The same goes for regulation, too, which is even further behind than the tech companies.
“This is a new kind of activity that simply didn’t exist when the rules for internet political communications were last updated,” said Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub of the Federal Election Commission.The Bloomberg campaign declined to say how much it paid for the sponsored posts, or if it had more of them in the works. The posts did not appear in Facebook’s ad transparency library, which catalogs the political ads that campaigns buy directly from Facebook or Instagram, and tells users how much was spent on them. Bloomberg’s campaign told The Associated Press on Thursday that Instagram does not currently require the campaign to disclose that information on the sponsored posts it ran earlier this week.
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RogerBlumberg Reason number 5312 why FB is garbage. Business FactCheck TheStranger AGOWA isn’t this illegal under Washington State Law? Prove to the oligarchs and the establishment that money can buy the DNC rule change to get you on the debate stage, and money can buy a FB rule change for your propagandist lying ads, but that money can’t buy your vote! Join us! OurRevolution NotMeUs LoveTrumpsHate Bernie2020
totally normal things in a country that is definitely not an oligarchy Related: Facebook’s former Chief Marketing Officer has officially joined Bloomberg’s campaign. That's fine as long as EVERYONE can do it. Wth ? So Zuckerberg is supporting Bloomberg now? Changing their policies to accommodate him? I won't see the 'ads', I deactivated my account with Facebook. It's a lousy platform anyways.
Corrupt democrats just paying back millions of dollars to their propaganda outlets main stream media. Cycle of corruption. Yelp, money just got Little Mike the Democratic nomination. Facebook has. Yrtwhat they call community standards. In these standards they allow Bashi g of the American President, Vashing if our Constitution. Sales of products that are never delivered yet that’s their standard
Facebook is a cancer. DemocracyJourno Why I’ll vote for MikeBloomberg ! He’s LIGHT YEARS ahead of the DNC ! DeleteFacebook DNC is showing themselves no different than RNC ...changing the rules in the middle of the contest so they can please another billionaire and his money. I was on the fence but I am now for sure to vote for Sanders or Warren to reform DNC too
mizdonna Liberals and their word salad. Not fooling anyone. So...ads. So Bloomberg found a loophole in a policy and exploited for his benefit....but he’s different than Trump...okay. Report report report! Spam Spam Spam! 2A is only good if you’re a Dem. Anyone else is blocked from speaking. 😐 Trump was already running these types of ads! We have to fight trump at his own game!
I’ll take Bloomberg over Trump every day of the week and twice on Sundays. But he needs to admit and promise to change elections to prevent people like him and Trump from buying elections in the future. fb_engineering and all employees if you guys have any ethics you should gather all employees and strike until they stop any and all Political ads PERIOD!
I guess MONEY talks Facebook is biased FACTCHECK: Facebook to allow paid political ads that aren’t ads Delete Facebook FuckFacebook Facebook is Satan. I will give Dems credit. They are good at finding loopholes. Just don't be mad when Trump uses the hell out of it. Facebook owns Instagram. Not sure why this is a 'big' story. 🤔
Good for him. I wonder what they would have done if it was Trump that found the loophole. Ok so where does exploitation fit in? FB & Insta take political ads MikeBloomberg using $ to change rules to benefit himself. Everything he does is about him! He believes he knows how to run YOUR LIFE better than you do! WalkAway
Micheal Bloomberg is literally trying to beat Trump for the worst candidate in the election. He suggested death squads to stop drug dealers as well. How does one man get worse by the hour? Amazing. Did Bloomberg donate to them, too? Facebook isn't exactly a charity. But they’re... ads Time to delete this garbage app, people. You don't need facebook anymore.
JoshNBCNews Mayor Pete incoming. Sno317 Facebook is the absolute worst! Exactly why my acct is inactive. Only use it for highly limited occasions. Oh so Bloomberg figures if you grease the right palms with enough doe, you can roll over People and Not Have to wait in line like everyone else. Facebook Caved for a buck. No surprise
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Donnie doesn’t look good in green. Talk about something that makes me really glad I don't use either program. Why exactly is Bloomberg doing so well with black voters? You'd think with his record, he'd be polling lower than Buttigieg with that group. At this point I don't care what Bloomberg or any other candidate do to reach voters. I am a ONE ISSUE VOTER! VOTE TRUMP, THE CRIMINAL IN CHIEF OUT IF OFFICE!
If they can make money off it, they'll allow it. And how wass that private meeting with them, mark? In other words: unfettered propaganda. Nice. Fuck Facebook So glad I left Facebook almost two years ago. If it's Bloomberg vs Trump Democrats will see one of the lowest turnouts in history. Hatred of Trump isn't high enough to drag young people to the polls. They have to be inspired and not out of fear but out of optimism for a better future. The Billionaire stop & frisk guy aint it
BreakupFacebook This is how oligarchy and corruption work. The media don't want to upset their best customers. those are ads. theyre called sponsored posts for some reason tho. 'Mike Bloomberg exploited a loophole' In other words, did nothing wrong. Ah. Good to see Facebook has found another lucrative slippery slope to hell to play on.
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