How Facebook drove Trump’s ad campaign during US election

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San Francisco, Oct 7 (IANS) US President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign received help from handpicked Republican-supporting Facebook employees, revealed the man who directed the digital aspects of the campaign.

In an interview given to CBSNews, Trump campaign digital director Brad Parscale said he used carefully-curated political advertisements on Facebook to directly reach voters with messages they cared most about.

The majority of the digital ad budget was spent on Facebook ads, particularly in reaching the rural voters, where infrastructure was a key issue, he added in the report on Saturday.

“I started making ads that showed the bridge crumbling — that’s micro targeting — I can find the 1,500 people in one town that care about infrastructure. Now, that might be a voter that normally votes Democrat,” Parscale told CBSNews host Lesley Stahl.

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Parscale said the campaign would average 50,000 to 60,000 different ad versions every day, some days peaking at 100,000 separate iterations — changing design, colours, backgrounds and words — all in an effort to refine ads and engage users.

Both campaigns — Republican and Democrat — used Facebook’s advertising technology extensively to reach voters, but Parscale claimed that the Clinton campaign didn’t go as far as using “embeds”.

According to Parscale, certain Facebook employees, who he called “embeds”, showed up for work in his office multiple days a week to teach him every aspect of the technology.

Facebook is currently facing intense scrutiny over the presence of Russian ads on its platform during the 2016 American presidential election and along with Twitter, is set to appear before the US Congress on November 1 to testify.

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An estimated 10 million people in the US saw the Russian ads that were present on Facebook during the 2016 presidential election, the social media giant said while finally handing over nearly 3,000 Russian political ads worth $100,000 to the US Congress.

“Twitter is how Trump talked to the people, Facebook was going to be how he won,” Parscale was quoted as saying.

–IANS

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