Social Media Meets Politics

Oct 2018

We have seen a massive increase in social media over the past few years, with tremendous growth in both the personal and professional spaces. Government agencies are using it to communicate with the public and media. Since the oversaturation of parties and politics, many of the social channels including Facebook are taking steps to protect your identity and information.

Most people don’t understand that ads are no longer “random.” Entities – politicized groups and organizations – have leveraged the data on Facebook to target audiences with intent to mobilize on a specific agenda. Facebook recognizes how some entities used this data to create political persuasion.

Earlier this month, Facebook sent out a newsletter notifying users that the platform will be sending periodic emails with recommendations and updates regarding the upcoming midterm elections. Facebook wants users to secure their accounts, understand new ads, and bolster transparency requirements.

The platform also is creating more stringent guidelines for advertisers. Any entity that wants to run ads related to politics or issues of national importance must follow these new guidelines:

  • Two-factor authentication,
  • Review and update the email addresses on your account and remove any old or outdated information
  • Take privacy and security checkups to give your Profile an added layer of protection

They are also incorporating ways for ads to be more transparent for consumers. Agencies and teams must confirm their identities and location as a way to link ad accounts. Advertisers must also include disclaimers on ads indicating who paid for them. Advertisements that reference elections, issues of public importance, or focus on an elected official or campaign can only be run by people who have completed this new authorization process by Facebook.

Facebook fully supports civic engagement on its platform and appreciates that parties use the platform to connect with voters, but the platform wants to ensure complete transparency. Facebook has even created a way for elected officials and candidates who are running for office to now have a “political Info” section of their “About” page.

96% of small business owners/marketers use social media marketing, and 92% of those agree or strongly agree with the phrase, “Social media marketing is important for my business.”

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