Facebook: Bloomberg campaign memes won't be classified as political ads

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/02/14/facebook-bloomberg-campaign-m.html


You know that if it’s allowed, the Trump campaign will do it. Kudos to Bloomberg for getting there first. If the other side is allowed to use underhanded tactics, we need to do the same.

And no, it’s not “descending to their level”. It’s winning an election. Bloomberg has promised to throw his weight behind anyone who wins the Democratic nomination. I hope the others do the same when the time comes.

The GOP misinformation campaign is scary - we need to counter it any way we can https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/03/the-2020-disinformation-war/605530/

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What the actual fuck. Nonononononono.

Even if you think this election must be won by any person other than Trump, at any and all costs, this has implications that will go far beyond one election.


Yes yes yes yes yes, or once again we’ll lose to Republican dirty tricks. When we take the high road, they win the election. It’s happened again and again. Where were President Gore and President Hillary Clinton? Hmmmm?

Read this, and then come back and defend your high road: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/03/the-2020-disinformation-war/605530/


When we take the low road we cease to DESERVE to win the election.


Purity got us both George Bushes. And now Trump. Your self righteous crap is just wrong. We definitely deserve to win, and we need to do what it takes to overcome GOP dirty tricks, instead of rolling over and letting them steal another election.

Are you smug and happy living with the Trump administration, telling yourself that yes, they’re bad people, but you’d rather let the country turn into a dictatorship than do anything that violates your high standards of personal purity? Politics has never worked like that.


Forced memes are always stale.


The point of these is not to be sparkly and new and cool - they’re aim is to win the election. And he’s aiming them at Trump, rather than at the other candidates.

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Gore did not lose the electoral college because he refused to play dirty underhanded tricks that would undermine the election process. If anything, he failed because at the time he wasn’t presenting himself all that differently than W. was.

During the election Gore was running on talking points like “I crossed party lines to vote in favor of invading Iraq during the first Bush administration.”

If he had stuck to his strengths and ran as the progressive environmental warrior he positioned himself as a few years later then he might well have won in a landslide. Or who knows, he might’ve lost anyway because the country was going through an ideological pendulum swing and Bush was what the batshit voters demanded. Either way, “refusing to fight dirty” wasn’t a character fault.


You’re responding to a past set of circumstances that have a lot of interpretations - instead of responding to my question about whether you’re happy letting Trump and his gang win again, if that means you can remain pure and above using anything but reason and facts against him.

Is that position worth it to you? Do you want to eliminate Democratic super pacs, too? How much do you need to hamstring the Democratic effort to make yourself feel all warm inside?

I reject the premise that racing to the bottom is the most effective way to keep Trump from winning again. Even if we went all in with that strategy there’s no way we could beat them at that game, it would be like trying to win a staring contest against a creature that lacked eyelids.


Would you have objected to the fake tanks, soldiers and gun emplacements the British put along their Channel coast during WW II? That was very dishonest of them, as everyone admits.

I’m not talking about racing to the bottom. Racing to the bottom would be to plan voter fraud like a number of GOP operatives have done. Racing to the bottom would be to work for voter suppression in conservative areas of states. I’m talking about using the Facebook policies that let the GOP spread lies to attack the GOP and point out the lies, but slant it in any way that makes sense to Independents or GOP voters who might swing over to our side here. And supporting super pacs which run ads countering the ads run by GOP super pacs. And taking money from Democratic billionaires to run against campaigns funded by GOP billionaires.

I am way to the left of Bloomberg or Mayor Pete, but I’ll happily vote for them against Trump if they win the nomination. Either one would put us back on a democratic course, and help undo a lot of the damage Trump and his gang have caused. I don’t care what they do during the campaign, if it helps unseat Trump. If it takes lies, so be it. There’s no way they could out-lie the other side.

And you’re still not answering whether you’re happy letting Trump and his gang win again, if that means you can remain pure and above using anything but reason and facts against him.


Zuckerberg seems determined to go down in history as one of the biggest contributors to the downfall of American liberal democracy. That he might think he’d come out on top in the new right-wing populist order would just evidence of delusional thinking.

Delete Facebook, and Whatsapp and Instagram while you’re at it.


As if the 2016 election wasn’t meme central over in /r/the_donald or 4chan. If anything Bloomburg is late to the party here.

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They’re political ads, they’re just not Facebook’s political ads, if Facebook isn’t getting paid for them. Yeah it’s kinda stupid.

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I know Michelle Obama said, “When they go low, we go high” and then Clinton lost the election. I’m not sure the causal relationship is there.

First, being negative and dirty isn’t a magical formula for winning elections. In Canada the Conservatives made attack ads pushing a negative slogan against Stephan Dion and won the election so people said, “Negative ads work.” Then they made attack ads against Michael Ignatieff and won the election and people said, “Negative ads work.” Then they made attack ads against Justin Trudeau and lost the election and I guess the pundits were too embarrassed to say, “Two out of three ain’t bad.” And of course that all ignored that the Liberals were running negative ads on Stephen Harper too. Winning at politics is complex and there is no simple formula.

Second, I don’t think Trump won because of a lack of negative information about Trump. During the campaign mainstream media reported on the access Hollywood tape and on credible sexual assault allegations. It was widely reported that Trump refused to pay people for work they had done for Trump. Most of the Republican party said Trump was a con artist and an awful person. None of this lines up with the idea that attacking Donald Trump will beat Donald Trump.

Third, I don’t even think these memes are some kind of dirty trick, they are just plain bad ads. I’ve seen Bloomberg’s memes. I don’t think they are dirty tricks or effective. They just look stupid.


What “dirty tricks” do you suppose won the election for Trump? Clearly they weren’t dirty enough given the outcome of the popular vote. If you’re under the impression that “dirty tricks” somehow swayed the mind of the average voter, then you’re on the wrong path and attacking the wrong thing. Further, if you somehow think Bloomberg’s counter-trick memes are gonna make a difference, you should think again. The real “dirty tricks” are systemic and well above the “pay grade” of any typical voter.

“its winning the tour de france”

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For anyone who thinks this is a winning strategy, Trump’s campaign used ads on FB that were micro-targeted to discrete slices of the electorate. They didn’t use cringy memes that so far have attracted attention only as some strange artifact.

personally, i think we should invite putin to be american president for life. i mean, really. nothing matters except for getting trump out of office.

actually, i think we should build our own wall between us and mexico.

actually, i think we should encourage roving gangs of white people to stalk the streets at night with big guns and lots of ammunition so that they’re on our side, not trump’s side.

actually, let’s pool resources, buy up media companies and generate real fake news because god knows the truth isn’t working.

lets do whatever we need to do to undermine trump. cause nothing else matters in the world anymore.