If you tell Facebook you're a senator looking to buy political ads, they just take your word for it


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/10/30/paid-for-by-mark-zuckerberg.html




What? I can’t hear you… better turn up the volume…


Oh I would, I really would but then I would have to give up torturing my red state relatives with News stories that show them what an lying, racist, misogynist, ass hat, buffoon Trump is…


Time for some shenanigans.

*cracks knuckles*


Anyone wanna lend me a few K?


I’ve never been on FB, but I kind of wish I was now so I could delete it.


The methodology of their test is a bit suspect. They never actually attempted to buy the ads, so it’s possible they stopped and declared success before the part where Facebook would actually check.


Wow, that impressive anti-fraud war room they set up is really on the job.


I am a senator now.


“We know we can’t do this alone, and by housing these ads for up to seven years, people, regulators, third parties and watchdog groups can hold these groups more accountable,” said Facebook Director of Product Management Rob Leathern in a statement.

More like:

“We know we can’t do this alone, so we’re going to force people, regulators, third parties and watchdog groups to do the actual work of holding these groups more accountable after we approve literally anything people give us money for,” said Facebook Director of Product Management Rob Leathern in a statement.


In many countries, if you can’t ensure the safety of your product, then you’re not allowed to sell it. The US is not one of those countries right now.


The evil pen-tester part of my brain thought about starting a company that took foreign money for political ads and basically launder it using my private citizenship and buy ads on Facebook. (A recent policy change)

Turns out this is a winning strategy because it is not even that hard. I coulda been a millionaire by now! Woe is me!

But seriously, wtf. We are so screwed. Imagine who has already slipped through the cracks by the time these journalists did their thing.


Wow, buying ads on Facebook is exactly like making a direct call to the president.


Getting my Facebook account deleted doesn’t sound so terrible.

Are there any legal risks to buying a fake Paid For By Donald Trump facebook ad?


I’m on a diplomatic mission to Alderaan right now!


Wow, that’s… astonishingly bad on Facebook’s part. So much so, in fact, that I wonder if it’s accurate – if Vice had actually tried to buy ads, would they have seen a different result? – though it’s just as plausible that their “transparency” initiative is fictional.

The only thing that stops me caring more is that, even if Facebook does require “paid for by” labels on political ads, that’s meaninglessly weak sauce. How about: forbid political advertising entirely? Is that an outrageous suggestion? If it’s not an ad for a commercial product or service, just don’t run it.

This article from the top of Google’s results on the subject is interesting. Zuckerberg sez it’s not a revenue decision (which I can believe), but rather an ideological one: he actually thinks that Facebook advertising is good for the political process. Which is astounding, and disturbing, and delusional.


Roger That!


“But Senator, what do you stand for?”
“Because someone took my seat!”


Totally not sorry.




My first reaction:


My “upon further reflection” reaction: