A new paid meme campaign on Instagram by billionaire Mike Bloomberg, who's running a guerrilla bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, has prompted Facebook to clarify that influencers on the platform must disclose such arrangements.
On Wednesday, Bloomberg unleashed a flood of posts on Instagram in a partnership with some of the most-followed accounts in a series of weird memes.
The change comes days after Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg exploited a loophole to run humorous messages promoting his campaign on the accounts of popular Instagram personalities followed by millions of younger people.
A quick scan of the comments in any of these sponsored memes reveals that Bloomberg hasn't exactly won Zoomers over.
Haberman, who previously covered mayoral politics for The New York Post and The New York Daily News, referred to the moment when Bloomberg reportedly listed himself as 5 foot, 10 inches on his driver's license. That's why we chose to give Mike a hand and create a couple of actually amusing memes, that we're sure the kids will love.
Most people haven't responded enthusiastically to the ads, even if they're properly disclosed.
That effort skirted numerous rules that tech companies have imposed on political ads to safeguard USA elections from malicious foreign and domestic interference and misinformation.
In one post, Bloomberg appears to ask the account to post a meme to let everyone know he is "the cool candidate" - along with a picture of him in oversized shorts, a Polo-style shirt and a rust-colored vest.
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Facebook Inc said on Friday it was allowing US -based political candidates to run branded content on its social networking platforms, but the content would not be catalogued in its advertising library.
"After hearing from multiple campaigns, we agree that there's a place for branded content in political discussion on our platforms", a Facebook spokesman said in a statement.
Facebook made a decision to allow a type of paid political message that had sidestepped numerous social network's rules governing political ads, in a reversal that highlights difficulties tech companies and regulators have in keeping up with the changing nature of paid political messages.
So far these new policies only apply in the US.
These rules require political ads to display who had paid for them.
Among the Instagram content creators recruited by Bloomberg are fuckjerry, grapejuiceboys and tank.sinatra, each of which has millions of followers. Trump maintained that Bloomberg is "one of the worst debaters I've ever seen".
His campaign has said in the past that Bloomberg is prepared to spend $2 billion of his own money on his run, whether successful or not.
Bloomberg's social campaign extends beyond working with Meme 2020.