Warren’s intentionally misleading Facebook ad ups her beef with the platform, a conflict that goes back to her plan, published in March, to break up big tech companies.
Zuckerberg cited Warren’s potential election and tech antitrust plan as an “existential” issue for the Facebook, according to audio from Facebook open meetings obtained by The Verge.
Yet, Warren’s and other Democratic candidates’ concerns with Facebook haven’t impacted their own ad spend, which has gone mostly to Facebook and Instagram so far this year.
Whether political revenue is worth the cost for Facebook is an open question.
“The social network brought in more than $500 million last cycle, dwarfing even the biggest political targeting shops in our space,” said Jordan Lieberman, general manager of politics and public affairs at a4 Media, Altice’s targeted advertising business. “However, this cost $5 billion in FCC fines relating to Cambridge Analytica, and billions more in lost stock value. Facebook has virtually no chance of breaking even on political ads given their enforcement costs.”
Facebook’s efforts to stem outside electoral manipulation focused mostly on foreign bad actors, like the Russian operation to influence the US election in 2015 and 2016. Shady PACs and political pop-up groups can no longer hook up a credit card and pump lies onto the platform.
What Facebook and other major ad platforms need to reckon with this year is a different kind of problem, as the lies and misinformation now come from high-level US campaigns and the White House itself.