LTO Links #302

Unintended Consequences Of Facebook Algorithm Tweaks

Learn. Test. Optimize.

Issue #302 |


Updates to Political Content Policy (May 2022)

"The election ads policies for Australia, Brazil, the European Union, India, Israel, New Zealand, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States will be updated to remove the following exemption:

Note that election ads don’t include ads for products or services, including promotional political merchandise like t-shirts, or ads run by news organizations to promote their coverage of political parties, candidates, or current elected officeholders."Group aiming to defund disinformation tries to drain Fox News of online"Instead of calling for a consumer boycott, Check My Ads took a novel approach: apply public pressure on the hidden engines of the online advertising world: ad exchanges."The exchanges, operated by companies like Google and Verizon but also a collection of smaller firms, are kind of the middlemen between a company trying to place an ad and a website."


Susan Gone Wild: Pennsylvania Dem Zooms Into Campaign Event While Driving, Video Shows

"Wild was the honored guest at a May 11 Jewish Democratic Council of America 'Jewish Dems Week of Action' event, which she joined from her car as she drove through traffic and fiddled with her phone. At one point during the video call, a recording of which was obtained bu the Washington Free Beacon, Wild acknowledged that she was driving and told fellow attendees that she wouldn't "be looking at" them because she was navigating traffic."


Digital currencies flow to campaigns, but state rules vary

"In the 2017-18 election cycle, cryptocurrency donations reported to the Federal Election Commission came to just over $1.2 million. They have hit about $500,000 so far in the current cycle, which has months to go before the general election."


Hate speech and disinformation spike on TikTok in run-up to Kenya’s elections

"TikTok currently bans political ads on its platform, but, in Kenya, it has still become a popular venue for discussing politics and outspoken takes on the current pool of presidential candidates. The hashtags #siasa and #siasazakenya (the Swahili phrases for #politics and #kenyanpolitics) currently have nearly 38 million combined views on TikTok. Unlike Facebook’s community guidelines, TikTok’s currently do not explicitly deem calculated references to historical violence as a potential content violation."

Creating Opportunity for Voter Engagement in the Digital Space

"CDU NRW's strategy of building numerous landing gave voters the opportunity to explore individual issues that mattered most to them. Based on the party's campaign platform, topline issues such as transportation, security digitalization, and education each received a unique, dedicated landing page. In total, more than 30 landing pages were deployed."

Social Media

A PR Firm Is Paying TikTok Influencers to Promote Liberal Causes and Hype Democrats’ Middling Accomplishments

"The videos, as a whole, appear to contravene the spirit—if not, the company insists, the letter—of TikTok’s rules about political advertising and the Federal Election Commission’s guidelines about sponsored political content online, which advise, 'Virtually all paid political advertising on the internet must contain a full, clear, and conspicuous disclaimer on its face.' We know all this because someone at the communications firm Hone Strategies emailed me, asking if I wanted to write about Vocal and their influencer partners."

Facebook's 2018 algorithm change boosted local GOP groups, research finds

"It is the first to suggest that an algorithm change Facebook announced in 2018 amplified Republican causes at a hyperlocal level, allowing the Republican Party to reach a wider audience and potentially affect local and state elections. Reactions, comments and shares began to trend down on Republican posts by 2021, and the gap between local Republican parties and their Democratic counterparts began to narrow again. The data ends in April 2021."


GOP Firm Targeted Victory Makes First Acquisition Following Investment from Stagwell

“'It’s part of the industry maturating,' he said. 'These are things one must do for the whole market to get better. We have a fundamental belief that the space is still early in its maturation of how big it’s getting. I still think we’re in the 3rd or fourth inning.'"