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In the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook has resolved to stay away from political campaigns. Oh, it will still decide for you whether or not you should see a political post by censoring it if it thinks it is “fake.” However, Bloomberg reports the social media titan is just not going to be providing personal support to candidates going forward.
During election times, political candidates become huge advertisers with Facebook. They will spend millions on the platform. As a courtesy to such high-paying customers, the company will send an employee, called an “embed,” to the campaign to help out in getting ads onto the platform and providing technical support and training.
Trump had an embed in his 2016 campaign, which his digital director Brad Parscale said played a “crucial” role in his victory. The company had also offered Clinton the same support, but her campaign turned it down in favor of a lower tier of advertising. Parscale will be reprising his role in Trump's 2020 bid, but is not sure if they will be relying as heavily on Facebook as they did in 2016.
It's a good thing too. Due to the controversy involved in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook wants to back away from such personalized support to keep from appearing biased and risking its reputation again. This is not to say it will no longer run political ads. It is a revenue stream that is too big to ignore. However, it will stop using embeds for the foreseeable future.
Instead it will be offering tools and advice through its politics portal. This special cordoned-off section of Facebook provides candidates information on how to get their message out and a way to get authorized to run ads on the platform. Campaign staffers are still welcome to contact the company for support and training, but Facebook employees will no longer be assigned to campaigns.