Facebook's Weekly Flame-Out

The following is taken from one of Bob Hoffman's weekly newsletters that complement his blog, The Ad Contrarian. One can read more of his work in his recently published book Laughing & Advertising, which he describes as "a collection of my most irresponsible and inappropriate blog posts, essays, and cave drawings. You might say it's 200 pages of insults, wise-cracks, cheap shots, and dirty words. In other words, fun for the whole family!"


If you assume that every time Zuckerberg opens his mouth a lie is born, you won't be far from reality.

In July, the Z-man asserted that in order to make sure bad guys weren't manipulating Facebook like they did in the 2016 presidential election, Facebook would..."build AI tools to go find these fake accounts, find coordinated networks of inauthentic activity and take them down...so that anyone who is advertising, especially around political issue ads, will have a...very high standard of transparency. Higher than what you have in TV or print...we’re also even going so far as verifying the identity and location of every single advertiser..." Yeah, and I'm the fucking queen of France.

In a wonderful demonstration of bloody-mindedness (and a demonstration of Facebook's thorough incompetence) PBS's Business Insider pulled a great gag. They tried to buy ads on Facebook in which they said the ads were "paid for by Cambridge Analytica." If you remember, after Facebook was nailed to the wall for their Cambridge Analytica scandal, they supposedly totally banned the company from their platform. The punch line? Facebook took the ads.

Not to be outdone, using Facebook's political ad tools, Vice had no trouble getting approval to run phony ads on Facebook claiming to be Mike Pence, 100 US Senators, and ISIS..."including ads 'Paid for by' Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer... All 100 sailed through the system, indicating that just about anyone can buy an ad identified as “Paid for by” a major U.S. politician....What’s more, all of these approvals (by Facebook) were granted to be shared from pages for fake political groups such as “Cookies for Political Transparency” and “Ninja Turtles PAC.”

No, you can't make this shit up.

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