After allllllll the posturing about political ads and cracking down on political ads, Facebook has backtracked after Democrat presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg found an ad loop hole — influencers.

From the AP Wire:

Facebook decided Friday to allow a type of paid political message that had sidestepped many of the social network’s rules governing political ads, in a reversal that highlights difficulties tech companies and regulators have in keeping up with the changing nature of paid political messages.

Its policy change comes days after Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg exploited a loophole to run humorous messages promoting his campaign on the accounts of popular Instagram personalities followed by millions of younger people.

The Bloomberg posts weren’t much more than self-deprecating humor used to sell the 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.

Bloomberg’s 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. Online political ads have 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.

Bloomberg has dropped gazillions of dollars (probably) buying ad space on every corner of the internet.

In a new poll out of Florida, Mini Mike (as Trump dubbed him) is filling up the space left by Biden’s slow, sad fall.

From the DC:

Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg has risen to the top of a new Florida poll, the latest sign that his Super Tuesday strategy and extravagant campaign spending is proving effective.

Bloomberg is polling at 27.3% in Florida, according to a St. Pete Polls survey released Thursday, putting him above all other Democratic contenders for the party’s presidential nomination. Former Vice President Joe Biden came in second at 25.9%, and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg barely etched out Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, with the candidates polling at 10.5% and 10.4%, respectively.

…The new poll numbers are welcome news for the Bloomberg campaign, which has run an unorthodox campaign of largely ignoring the early primary states in favor of focusing on the many states that head to the voting booth for Super Tuesday and beyond. Fourteen states will go vote on March 3, where the former New York City mayor has spent enormous amounts of money on advertising and a campaign apparatus.



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