WASHINGTON: There are quite a few things you need a Federal ID to do. Cash a check. Board an airplane. Purchase alcohol. But buy an ad on Facebook? Yes. As a business owner, there are Facebook Advertising policies before this, or any other publication can promote a post on Facebook. Or purchase an advertisement on their page.
The process to purchase an ad on Facebook includes proving your identity. This is a response to the Russian “meddling” but in reality, it is an ages-old advertising policy. The physical requirement has changed somewhat. Now we electronically send in a scan of a drivers license, provide a social security number and verify the advertisers street address. Address verification is a simple process in which Facebook snail mails, versus electronic email, a code to your address that the advertiser must then add to their profile. It is simple, and not in anyway, an overreaching way of verifying who is purchasing the ad or boosting the post, on Facebook.
And this is pissing off the party of liberal lunacy.
What is advertising?
According to Wikipedia:
Advertising is an audio or visual form of marketing communication that employs an openly sponsored, non-personal message to promote or sell a product, service or idea.:465 Sponsors of advertising are typically businesses wishing to promote their products or services. Advertising is differentiated from public relations in that an advertiser pays for and has control over the message. It differs from personal selling in that the message is non-personal, i.e., not directed to a particular individual.:661,672
Advertising is communicated through various mass media, including traditional media such as newspapers, magazines, television, radio, outdoor advertising or direct mail; and new media such as search results, blogs, social media, websites or text messages. The actual presentation of the message in a medium is referred to as an advertisement or “ad” or advert for short. (Wikipedia)
Facebook new advertising policies anger leftist
A national coalition of leftist organizations representing immigrants, civil and human rights, faith communities, education, and technology groups, is denouncing Facebook’s new advertising-buying policy. What they are missing is that it was the left demanding Facebook tighten their policies in the first place.
It was Hillary Clinton and her supporters demanding that Facebook be held accountable for Russia posting deceptive Facebook ads they feel led to her loss in 2016.
From Fortune Magazine, Hillary Clinton Blames the Russians, Facebook, and Fake News for Her Loss
“The former Senator said that it’s important for people in the technology and business worlds to understand the connections between “domestic fake news operations” and the sophisticated attempts by Russian cyber agents to influence user behavior.
“How did they know what messages to deliver?” Clinton asked, referring to the Russians. “Who told them? Who were they colluding with?” She also called on Facebook to do more about fake news on the network. “They’ve got to curate the news more effectively,” she said. “They’ve got to help prevent fake news from creating a new reality.”
And in today’s topsy-turvey online world, fake news via an advertisement is the norm.
Be careful what you demand
The leftist organizations are upset because anyone anytime should be able to vote and purchase an advertisement on Facebook. New Facebook Advertising Policies requiring a social security number, a federal ID, and a verified address in order to buy an ad on Facebook is discriminatory to individuals that may not have those things.
Now, the party that wants it both way, says that Facebook’s action to protect our elections has “had an immediate chilling effect on immigrant communities, community non-profit organizations, and other disenfranchised communities.”
But what about the Russians?
Facebook’s new policies are in response to those pesky Russians placing false advertisement on their pages. However, the advocacy groups speaking out against the policies say they stop identity group from “advertising against the President’s cruel, and rogue deportation policies.” They claim Facebook Advertising Policies stops groups from being able to rally support in their fight to “protect families against unlawful and rogue ICE and CBP actions.”
But that is an abstract distract. Because any group can apply to be a Facebook advertiser as long as they meet the platform’s terms and conditions.
Which includes a credit card that can be charged for costs of advertising and verifying the advertiser’s identity.
Calling all protestors
The problem is that groups who want to rally protestors, like the ANTIFA group in Portland that seized ICE offices last month, threatening employees and their families may not have the organizational structure necessary to advertise on Facebook, or Communities Digital News:
These groups promoting violence want to protect their anonymity while they create chaos and further divide America. And just as a newspaper may choose to not place an advertisement that promotes violence, so should Facebook.
Because the reality is that Facebook is a private company, not a public organization. And liberals have no right to demand anything from the advertising agency.
How do groups claim they are being impacted by Facebook Advertising Policies?
Isabel Sousa, Membership and Organizing Director of the Florida Immigrant Coalition says of the Facebook Policies”
“After finally recognizing the severe negative impact their lack of transparency and data privacy has had on the United States, Facebook has responded by making it much harder for advocates of vulnerable communities to get our message across. Facebook’s constantly evolving ad buying policies discriminate against immigrants based on their citizenship status, effectively silencing organizations that are led by already marginalized people. We demand that they rethink their processes and stop targeting immigrants.”
Why can’t the Florida Immigrant Coalition place the pro-illegal immigration ads? Problem solved.
Nicole Regalado, Campaign Manager, at CREDO says”
“Facebook’s “show me your papers” policy will prevent the communities most surveilled and targeted by the Trump regime from fully participating in our democracy. With ICE locking up immigrant activists and the FBI targeting and attacking Black freedom fighters, a policy mandating a Social Security number and government ID to run political advocacy campaigns on the world’s largest social network would make it even harder and more dangerous for these communities to fight for their rights. Facebook should roll back this extreme policy immediately.”
What about a credit card? To do business online you need a credit card. To obtain a credit card you need to show these same documents, and sometimes more.
Angelica Salas, Executive Director, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) warns:
“Facebook’s one-size-fits-all policy for so-called ‘political advertising’ has effectively shut millions of voices out of the democratic process and public discourse on the most populous and influential social media platform. The social media giant must face the fact immigrants and other communities are not the enemy.”
The policy, according to the NP Strategy Group, a messaging strategy group, says the policies “may also restrict the voice of other Americans.”
According to Wendy Weiser of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law says:
”Eleven percent of Americans do not have government-issued photo identification cards, such as a driver’s license or a passport. These communities include low-income individuals, formerly incarcerated African Americans, LGBTQ communities and youth who are in foster care.”
Which begs the question, why would any of these individuals want to spend any amount of money on Facebook advertising? And do they have the credit card necessary to create an advertising profile in the first place?
Personally, with over thirty years in media, including those halcyon days before the internet, there is no recollection of any person who fits within Weiser’s 11% of Americans, who would choose to buy an ad over a meal.
There may be someone, somewhere who is living below the poverty level that would choose to spend money on advertising, that is not impossible. But it seems improbable. Which means this Facebook attack is really just a lot of noise about nothing.
Reality is asking for advertiser information is nothing new
Previous to the onset of the Internet and people feeling that anyone at any time has a right to express their opinion unless, when we sold or purchased, advertising we had a contract with the publication.
That older contract requires basically the same information Facebook is now requiring. This includes a verifiable physical address, banking information and yes, there were times that before I would contract with a person, some form of identification was necessary.
Why? Because most advertising was purchased on a 60-day net pay and, as the advertising publication, there was a necessity to ensure that the person purchasing the ad had the right to do so. And that they would actually pay their invoice.
Just because this advertising world has moved online, that should not have changed. But it did as greedy platforms just took the money without verifiable steps. If you had a credit card, you could place an ad.
But Facebook is social media, not an advertising agency, right?
This might be a surprise to many, but those so-called social media platforms, like Google and Facebook, makes its money by selling ads. The more users, the more advertising revenue. The higher the profits. And the happier the bottom line. Unfortunately, people are not getting that message.
Cory Fischer, Communications Director, Bend the Arc Jewish Action says:
“Facebook’s overly broad policy on what they call ‘political’ advertising has the chilling effect of silencing democratic discourse and threatens to prevent millions of immigrants from speaking out on issues that directly affect their lives. Facebook has previously mischaracterized our own immigration-focused ads, blocking them for ‘political’ content when in fact they are simply about critical issues. Facebook must immediately address these concerns and revise their advertising policy.”
No, Mr. Fischer, they do not.
Facebook is an advertising agency.
Had Facebook removed its corporate head from the cloud; had they admitted from day one they are an advertising agency, not some engine for social good. If Facebook had been truthful that their model relies on revenue from the sale of advertisements and posts boosting. If Mark Zuckerberg had not tried to us that Facebook’s efforts were for a “better-connected world”, but to sell advertising, this conversation would be mute.
Publications, online or in print, have always had the right to choose the advertising they would accept. And to demand that advertisers prove they are who they say they are. That they have a right to place that ad, is nothing new.
Truth in Advertising
Policies such as Facebook are enacting are long sacrosanct in advertising. According to the Federal Trade Commission Truth in Advertising statement:
The FTC looks especially closely at advertising claims that can affect consumers’ health or their pocketbooks – claims about food, over-the-counter drugs, dietary supplements, alcohol, and tobacco and on conduct related to high-tech products and the Internet. The FTC also monitors and writes reports about ad industry practices regarding the marketing of alcohol and tobacco.
When cigarettes were deemed a health threat to children, cigarette advertising was no longer accepted by most publications. Policies requiring that advertiser’s prove who they are and their right to place an advertisement also stop McDonald’s from putting negative Burger King advertisements on the page.
Or a competing store to advertise that another has gone out of business.
Now some forty-five groups are demanding that Facebook allow anyone at any time have the right to place an ad, without disclosing who they are. And that is dangerous. And their argument about stifling the rights of illegal immigrants, LGBTQ, Martians or anyone else is disingenuous.
Because when everyone, including the Russians, must adhere to the same rules of engagement, there cannot be discrimination against one.