With just weeks to the Iowa caucuses, social media platforms have finalized their rules governing political speech — and fired a starting pistol for political strategists to find ways to exploit them from now till Election Day.
Why it matters: “One opportunity that has arisen from all these changes is how people are trying to get around them,” says Keegan Goudiss, director of digital advertising for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign and now a partner at the progressive digital firm Revolution Messaging.
Driving the news: Facebook announced it would not back down from its controversial policy of not fact-checking politicians’ statements, and Twitter, YouTube and other platforms have all adjusted their political-speech rules as well.
Axios spoke with a half dozen campaign strategists, both Republicans and Democrats, as well as social intelligence experts, about what these rules will mean for the remainder of the political cycle.
(1) Ad systems will be gamed: “[D]id you know you can still buy voter-targeted inventory on Google’s AdX exchange? Those with the means or tech chops to have a seat on their exchange can still microtarget Google inventory. Is that fair? I don’t think so,” says Guidiss.
- Google’s ad policies prohibit campaigns from micro-targeting users using its ad technology, but the platform can’t stop ad-buyers from micro-targeting Google’s inventory through other third-party ad exchanges called demand-side platforms.
- Sources say that moving forward, if Google does detect that advertisers are trying to deliberately circumvent its rules, it will consider taking action against those accounts.