January 9, 2020

"Facebook won't change its policies on fact-checking ads promoted by politicians or limit political campaigns' microtargeting abilities, the company said Wednesday."

"Instead, Facebook announced that it will expand transparency around political ads and give its users more control over the ads they see. The decision comes after the company endured more than three months of criticism from Democratic politicians and activists over its decision not to fact-check ads from political campaigns. In that time, Twitter banned political ads altogether, while Google announced changes to how ads can be microtargeted to users.... Facebook's decision to keep its microtargeting policy was in part a response to campaigns and other political groups that told Facebook that they rely on microtargeting to reach audiences they would not have access to without social media platforms like Facebook...."

NBC News reports.

Word that does not appear in the article: "Trump."

Let me go back to that WaPo article I skipped. It's heavy on the Trump: "Facebook executive says company was responsible for Trump’s victory but warns against policy changes":
Longtime Facebook executive Andrew Bosworth said in a blunt internal post that the company’s advertising tools were crucial to the election of Donald Trump in 2016 and may help him win again but that executives must resist the temptation to make policy changes that would alter the course of legitimate political debate.....
Bosworth dismissed the idea that Russian efforts to manipulate U.S. voters over Facebook... were crucial to Trump’s victory. Bosworth... also played down the importance of the use of Facebook data by the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica....

Rather, said Bosworth... President Trump “got elected because he ran the single best digital ad campaign I’ve ever seen from any advertiser. Period.” Bosworth... particularly praised Trump’s leading digital-advertising adviser in 2016, Brad Parscale, who is now managing Trump’s reelection campaign....

“Parscale and Trump just did unbelievable work,” Bosworth wrote in his post. “They weren’t running misinformation or hoaxes. They weren’t microtargeting or saying different things to different people. They just used the tools we had to show the right creative to each person. The use of custom audiences, video, ecommerce, and fresh creative remains the high water mark of digital ad campaigns in my opinion.”
That comment and some others puzzled some who read the post. The term “microtargeting” is often understood to include the company’s powerful Custom Audiences tool, which Trump used and allows advertisers to identify targets by a wide range of factors — location, age, income, interests, education or even visits to a certain website or Facebook page....
So the point is that Facebook is offering great tools, and it should want to keep offering them and pushing other candidates to use the tools well, which is what Trump did. Obviously, Facebook wants to make money, so it's not going to want to give up what it is selling, and it's in its interest to say that Trump did not abuse these tools, that there's nothing wrong with the tools, and the Democrats ought to give up their effort to stop Facebook from selling its product and step up their buying of the product.

The message from Facebook to Democrats is: 1. Don't criticize us, criticize yourselves, and 2. Stop worrying about what Trump did wrong, start copying what he did right.

45 comments:

Ken B said...

Mr Zukerberg needs a new signature line. I suggest “Zukerberg did not kill himself.”

mccullough said...

This should have been obvious to Dems before Trump best them.

But they don’t want to compete. They want to ban.

That’s why they keep losing. And will continue to lose.

Buttigieg strikes me as the one candidate who might understand this.

Infinite Monkeys said...

Longtime Facebook executive Andrew Bosworth said in a blunt internal post that the company’s advertising tools were crucial to the election of Donald Trump in 2016

Bullshit.

stevew said...

This is the first that I've read of people on the Left giving positive advice to the candidates on how to compete with and, possibly, defeat Trump later this year. They are rejecting the calls to silence the Dem candidates critics, including Trump, and advising that they use the tools available to promote themselves. Simpler: Orange Man Bad!!! is not a strategy for victory.

mccullough said...

Trump won a close race. So in the Obama states he flipped, everything could be said to be crucial.

Trump ran a versatile, adjustable campaign. Just like his presidency.

Staff turnover can be a good thing.

stevew said...

And I agree with Infinite Monkeys. Bosworth trying to take credit for something he and they played no more than a bit part in achieving.

Owen said...

FB is in a bind. IMHO it very much wants Trump to lose. Its people very much want that, and are pretty public about it.''

But apparently Trump did not break the law or the terms of use to achieve his results. He was simply better at exploiting FB tools. What to do?

Solution: talk a good game, pretend to be all sportsmanlike. And work the background to cripple him, skew his targeting, confuse and intimidate his base. See also: Iranian asymmetrical warfare against Great Satan. Do not confront the adversary openly or head-on. Truck-bomb his ass when he least expects it.

Just my amateur (and very dyspeptic) opinion.

Char Char Binks said...

Colbert was up in arms last night about this plot by FB to keep democracy from dying in darkness.

Limited blogger said...

Trump will beat you whether he is the Home team or the Visitor.

As long as he knows the rules of the game, he will win it.

Beasts of England said...

’Parscale and Trump just did unbelievable work’

Trigger warning.

rehajm said...

Longtime Facebook executive Andrew Bosworth said in a blunt internal post that the company’s advertising tools were crucial to the election of Donald Trump in 2016

My first reaction was BS. On second pass social media allowed Trump to speak directly to voters and bypass mainstream media who are all in for Democrats and their coverage of Trump reflects. Im not sure if Facebook deserves more than a fraction of the credit vs Twitter, however...

Bay Area Guy said...

The message from Facebook to Democrats is: 1. Don't criticize us, criticize yourselves, and 2. Stop worrying about what Trump did wrong, start copying what he did right.

Too lucid. Dems cannot criticize themselves. See, they're intentions are always good and they want to save the world. And, anyone who gets in the way is racist and evil.

rehajm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rehajm said...

Bosworth dismissed the idea that Russian efforts to manipulate U.S. voters over Facebook... were crucial to Trump’s victory

Watch out. Hillary's not going to like that...

gerry said...

Dems cannot criticize themselves. See, they're intentions are always good and they want to save the world. And, anyone who gets in the way is racist and evil.

The Party can never be wrong. You, as a member, must agree with it even before what you know what it states what you must agree with. If thirty years ago you said something that today is forbidden (was was not forbidden thirty years ago), too bad. Off to the Gulag!

YoungHegelian said...

The message from Facebook to Democrats is: 1. Don't criticize us, criticize yourselves, and 2. Stop worrying about what Trump did wrong, start copying what he did right.

Go read Shattered. As far as I could tell, HRC's campaign really didn't believe new media advertising would play much of a role & thus put little time & effort into it.

narayanan said...

Professora said ...
On Fox News ("The Five"), Greg Gutfeld analyzed the politics and guessed at the structure of Gervais's emotions:

"He's [Gervais] is upset because he's so confident in his liberal ideas that the refusal to listen to other ideas, which is happening right now on the regressive left, enrages him.;.. It's a pathetic sign of weakness...and I think that's what's fueling his fire and why he's so disgusted and angry -- but do not mistake that for him becoming a conservative."

I don't know if that explains Gervais, but I understand the dynamic. What Gutfeld said would work as a key to explaining what I've been doing on this blog these past 16 years.
----------------------
stevew said...

This is the first that I've read of people on the Left giving positive advice to the candidates on how to compete with and, possibly, defeat Trump later this year. They are rejecting the calls to silence the Dem candidates critics, including Trump, and advising that they use the tools available to promote themselves. Simpler: Orange Man Bad!!! is not a strategy for victory.

-----------------
Maybe Dem can learn

eddie willers said...

Trump will beat you whether he is the Home team or the Visitor.

As Bum Phillips said of Don Shula: "He can take his'n and beat your'n and take your'n and beat his'n."

Earnest Prole said...

"Responsible for Trump's victory"!

Mike Sylwester said...

The Kremlin will be able to buy Jesus-arm-wresting-Satan ads on Facebook again in the 2020 election. That's good news for the Kremlin and for Trump.

James Clapper, John Brennan, James Comey and Robert "The FBI Whitewasher" Mueller have warned that Russia is meddling in our elections, but Facebook just enables Russia to continue meddling with the very same ads.

Yancey Ward said...

I still predict Twitter bans Trump as some point before the election. The pressure to do so will not be denied.

Kevin said...

Shorter article: "Grassroots" Dems still far behind Trump in using communication tools of the 21st century -- and not about to catch up anytime soon.

Kevin said...

The Dems are always complaining things are unfair.

Most unabashedly when neither side has an advantage.

Fernandistein said...

microtargeting abilities

The monkey on my back has a microtarget on his back, so his abilities will be microtargeted, not mine. Plus he has to approve all credit card payments.

Wilbur said...

The question that never seems to be asked is: How do they measure whether a Facebook ad or campaign is effective?

Or put another way, can they identify anyone - ANYONE - whose vote was switched because of one of these ads? Or was the impetus to making someone vote who otherwise wouldn't have voted?

Color me dubious. Skeptical. Unconvinced.

Seeing Red said...

I wonder how much cash FB makes from political ads.

Nonapod said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nonapod said...

I truly wonder how much influence Facebook ads generally have. I tend to think their influence is negligible to non existent, but I have no non-anecdotal data to back up that thought. But at any rate, I certainly wouldn't trust any so called "fact checker" that was appointed by Facebook or approved by the Democrat party.

In the post information scarcity era, who fact checks the fact checkers? And perhaps those fact checkers need to be fact checked too. We need fact checkers all the way down.

tim maguire said...

“They weren’t running misinformation or hoaxes. They weren’t microtargeting or saying different things to different people.

Well jeepers! Are you allowed to say that about Trump?

narciso said...

the same way, they handed all the info to Obama in 2012, this is why they had to destroy scl Cambridge analytica,

James K said...

Longtime Facebook executive Andrew Bosworth said in a blunt internal post that the company’s advertising tools were crucial to the election of Donald Trump in 2016

Surely a Facebook executive would have no reason to exaggerate the impact of advertising on Facebook.

n.n said...

No, they weren't. Trump's conference with the People, principled alignment, and agreement on policies were the critical factors.

Char Char Binks said...

NPR and PBS don't allow comments online, I quit FB, got kicked off Twitter, and banned from commenting by WaPo and ABC. Many popular, and not so popular, new-media personalities have been banned from YouTube, etc. The Proud Boys have been effectively put down, and some of its members have been imprisoned for defending themselves against a violent attack. Dems have declared Trump's election illegitimate because of Pepe and Arm Wrestling Jesus memes. People now are afraid to wear Trump hats or shirts, or put Trump signs on their lawns, because of Anti-1A violence.

The people know they are being deplatformed, silenced, and suppressed. They will vote accordingly.

Rick said...

The decision comes after the company endured more than three months of criticism from Democratic politicians and activists over its decision not to fact-check ads from political campaigns.

Dems complain because they think this would hurt Trump. But they're lucky Facebook made this decision because such a policy would hurt Dems far more. Trump may lie about the size of crowds or whether Mexico will pay for the wall. But Dems lied that Obamacare would save the "typical" family 2,500 / year similar and "if you like your doctor you could keep your doctor". Dems would obviously expect Facebook to let those lies through and it's likely Facebook would. But the ensuing uproar would delegitimize the entire process and show everyone how Dems corrupt everything to support their propaganda.

Bruce Hayden said...

Two things to keep in mind, if Twitter, FB, etc try to deplatform POTUS. First, it might very well result in them losing their DMCA Safe Harbor, thus becoming liable for any defamatory speech or copyright infringement by its customers. Secondly, if the suspension was one sided, they could be accused by the DOJ of in kind political contributions to his opponent, thus opening up the company and the executives making 5he decision to crim8nal prosecution. Moreover, they are already vulnerable to claims of Antitrust violations. If Trump looks like he .is going to lose, then loses, it might be a good gamble. Not so much if he wins.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

“They weren’t running misinformation or hoaxes. They weren’t microtargeting or saying different things to different people.

Trump is the most honest politician in my life.

I never dreamed I would utter those words.

AllenS said...

Trump won because he went up against one of the most lazy people ever nominated. Crooked Hillary was so full of herself she didn't think that she needed to campaign.

Plus, Trump has his tweeter machine. He can send out death rays with it, so look out.

JaimeRoberto said...

Obama used Facebook better than his Republican opponents because he's so smart, forward-thinking and awesome. Trump used Facebook better than Hillary and it's suddenly a threat to democracy. Well, a threat to Democrats anyway, because Democrats die in the sunlight. Except for Epstein.

Gospace said...

I'm certain Facebook, along with skillful use of other social media, aided in Trump's electoral victory. In Facebook's case IMHO it wasn't the ads, it was the users. I saw a few people I know who are usually apolitical putting up pro-Trump memes and posts before the NY primary. I voted for Cruz since Walker had wimped out. Lots of people in my CD, including me, posted pro-Cruz items. Yard signs were overwhelmingly Trump. Cruz won my district, narrowly. Trump took the general 49-45%.

Facebook users trend older than other social media users. Older voters show up on election day. And I'm not certain the pro-Trump memes and posts carried the day for. It was the anti-Hillary posts and memes. Tough to fight memes that are both accurate and devastating. And there was plenty of ammo. Attacking Trump for womanizing while running the bimbo eruption team? The childish reset button? Benghazi and the death of our diplomats? And for anyone who ever had a security clearance the infamous "No reasonable prosecutor...." line excusing her inexcusable and unlawful private server and use of non-government email for official use. All of which were shared on Facebook and not covered by the measured 95% negative media coverage of Trump.

I'm not on Twitter. But I know all about Trump's tweets. From media coverage followed by blog posts actually quoting them and comparing them to media coverage of what they said he said.

Jim at said...

I'm still trying to figure out why it was genius - sheer genius - when Obama utilized Facebook in 2012, and now it's worthy of impeachment.

Howard said...

Can't disagree with Allen S. This Iran coup followed by a wet fart impeachment would make it Trump's election to lose.

Tim said...

Trump was going to win after Iowa where he took kids for helicopter rides. THIS guy is different.

DavidD said...

Oh, please.

Trump did not win because of Facebook.

Trump won because he wasn’t Hillary.

In 2016. In 2020 he will win because he’s Trump; the Democrats are just competing to see who has to lose to him this time.

exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

Howard said...
Can't disagree with Allen S. This Iran coup followed by a wet fart impeachment would make it Trump's election to lose.

1/9/20, 5:40 PM

While I think you're correct, November is a long way away.

I'm not cocky about his reelection.

Danno said...

Char Char Binks said..."Colbert was up in arms last night about this plot by FB to keep democracy from dying in darkness."

What pray tell are you watching Colbert for? There are so many things to choose from in life that are enjoyable.