One Democratic candidate’s loophole hijack was so successful at sidestepping Instagram’s ad policy that Mark Zuckerberg changed the rules to make it easier. The social media giant claims they don’t make money directly off the former New York Mayor’s attempt to buy the election, but there are lots of ways they can benefit from Michael Bloomberg’s billions indirectly.
Billionaire’s media loophole hijack
In a stunning reversal on Friday, social media giant Facebook, who also owns Instagram, announced they will allow political campaigns to wage “meme warfare” on their platforms, in an attempt to influence voters. The New World Order globalists are terrified about the grassroots support for President Donald Trump. The only way any Democrat candidate stands a chance is by countering all the pro-Trump memes with counter-memes. Democrat Michael Bloomberg decided to hijack a loophole in the rules. He can’t pay Instagram directly to post the funny sayings, but can still get memes out on the interweb by the millions. All he has to do is pay people to post them. Only days before the policy change, Mike Bloomberg ran “humorous messages promoting his campaign on the accounts of popular Instagram personalities followed by millions of younger people.”
With all those progressive Gen-Xers sitting around their parent’s basement with nothing to do, Mike Bloomberg decided to throw them some cash and turn them into freelance campaign workers. Antifa types don’t have to sit idle waiting for the bus to pick them up for the next protest. They can surf Instagram and get paid too. Then on election day they’ll have someone to vote for, as the bus takes them poll-to-poll to vote as many times as they can.
Facebook admits they have virtually given up on trying to regulate the ever-changing digital landscape, especially when it comes to paid political messages. They just dumped the issue in the laps of lawmakers and told them, you come up with something and we’ll administer it. Now Congress has to decide all the sticky ethical answers. Until they figure it out, Facebook is standing aside on anything they can sidestep. This is one of those issues.
A new kind of activity
According to Ellen L. Weintraub at the Federal Election Commission, “this is a new kind of activity that simply didn’t exist when the rules for internet political communications were last updated.” It used to be easier to tell the difference between what’s an ad and what’s not. Facebook calls Bloomberg’s hijack, “branded content.” That means, “sponsored items posted by ordinary users.” What makes the content sponsored is “advertisers pay the influential users directly to post about their brand.”
Facebook claims they have no financial interest in the method but that’s somewhat misleading. “Facebook makes no money from such posts and does not consider them advertising,” The Christian Science Monitor writes. “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.”
Just because Bloomberg isn’t writing the checks directly to Facebook, and it costs nothing to post an individual meme, a significant number of online personalties pay heavily to use Facebook’s “boost” feature to expand the reach of their posts. Even without factoring in the boost revenue, Facebook still gets content which attracts viewers and keeps them on the site longer as consumers.
An about face for Facebook
Up until Friday, Zuckerberg and company “tried to deter campaigns from using such branded content by barring them from using a tool designed to help advertisers run such posts on Facebook and Instagram.” Now that Bloomberg wants to buy an election and has made it clear that money is no object, “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.”
They still don’t have to tell anyone how much they’re spending on influencing public opinion or how much they pay to their army of trolls. So far, Bloomberg has been concentrating on “individuals with huge followings.” As noted by CSM, “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.”
Where Facebook used to at least make an effort to “safeguard U.S. elections from malicious foreign and domestic interference and misinformation,” those days are over. Now, Facebook has “declined to fact-check political ads and refuses to ban even blatantly false messages.”