Bloomberg's campaign prompts Facebook to reverse its ad policy

Cheryl Sanders
February 14, 2020

President Trump has renewed his assault on 2020 hopeful Mike Bloomberg, blasting the former NY mayor for the aggressive "stop-and-frisk" policy employed under his watch and its harmful impact on black New Yorkers. The rule change now allows campaigns in the use this tool, provided they've been authorized by Facebook to run political ads and disclose who paid for the sponsored posts.

That effort skirted numerous rules that tech companies have imposed on political ads to safeguard USA elections from malicious foreign and domestic interference and misinformation. Online political ads have been controversial, especially after it was revealed Russian Federation used them in an attempt to influence the 2016 presidential election.

During Bloomberg's mayoralty, 2002-13, the New York newspapers variously reported his height at 5-foot-6, 5-foot-7 and just shy of a 5-foot-8 aide, according to The New York Times in 2006.

In one of them, the 77-year-old candidate says that his granddaughter showed him the account.

The company now updates a public list of ads run by politicians, their campaigns and political parties.

But these "organic" or "native" advertisements, written in the influencer's own voice, will not appear in the political ad library, even if a politician has paid for them.

Over the past few days, posts sponsored by Bloomberg-who has spent an estimated $200 million on his campaign so far-have started to pop up on a number of popular accounts who were more than happy to accept some of that cash.

Content of this sort is not covered by Facebook's political advertising rules, as the company pointed out that Facebook does not receive payment for branded content on its platform, and the social network's ad-targeting capabilities are not in play. "We're allowing US-based political candidates to work with creators to run this content".

"Can you post a meme that lets everyone know I'm the cool candidate?"

F (asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk) Jerry's account then replied, "Ooof that will cost like a billion dollars".

Michael Bloomberg's campaign said Thursday it has invested in sponsored Instagram meme content in a new illustration of his record spending aimed at securing the Democratic presidential nomination. "He divides people. I try to unite them".

Matching insult with an insult is hardly a strategy of taking the high ground, but for Bloomberg, it's undoubtedly a strategy that he believes can only help him at this stage in the campaign.

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