Facebook launches searchable database revealing U.S. political ad spending

Saul Bowman
October 28, 2018

Meanwhile, less than two weeks from the election, billionaire and newly re-registered Democrat Michael Bloomberg has given an additional $10 million to his super PAC, Independence USA, to support Democrats in the midterms, CBS reports.

Opponents of one of the California ballot measures, Proposition 8, plowed almost $1 million into Facebook ads in an effort to sway the state's voters.

Sen. Kamala Harris of California, who is considered a top Democratic presidential contender in 2020, also was among the big spenders, buying more than $1 million in advertising on Facebook.

Facebook on Tuesday released the first of what it promised will be routine reports showing who is behind United States political ads seen at the social network or its Instagram service.

Facebook has made its Ad Archive feature a little more comprehensive to help citizens understand which political party is spending more on ads on the social network.


That policy pulls in ads from official campaigns as well as paid posts containing a political dimension from boutique apparel makers, talk-show hosts and global firms. ExxonMobil has promoted a campaign supporting offshore drilling and urged a "no" vote on a Colorado ballot measure that would limit fracking.

In one week, between October 14 and October 20, O'Rourke's campaign spent more than $500,000 on the platform.

Jay Tandan, the ice cream maker's digital marketing manager, said the company welcomed the transparency. Some Democratic strategists, Duffy writes, have conceded that the going has become tougher following Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court. "And tens of millions of dollars are flooding into Texas from liberals across the country".

The company now requires political and issue-based ad buyers to provide picture ID and Social Security information.

Facebook also has faced a barrage of criticism from users and lawmakers after it said past year that Russian agents used its platform to spread misinformation before and after the 2016 U.S. presidential election, an accusation Moscow denies.

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