FB Can’t Claim Ignorance on Russia Ads

2017 09 18   Peter Feinstein   Media and Politics    

This is not new, even though it appears to be news to many.

If anyone – and I mean anyone, including Rep. Adam B. Schiff of California, the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee – believes what Facebook is saying about the Russian ad dollars spent, or that it can’t determine if there were any coordinated efforts, then they’re not paying attention to everything else our friendly neighborhood social media giant is saying or doing.

Facebook prides itself on being able to slice, dice and parse any of several thousand data points for each user. That’s its value proposition to every advertiser, large and small. All anyone needs to do is start an ad campaign on Facebook in order to see the depth and breadth of how it can target ads. It’s nothing short of breathtaking! Even more revealing is that Facebook then determines to whom it will show your ad based upon the myriad data points it has on the subset targeting you’ve created.

Let’s be clear: There is no random advertising on Facebook. It knows exactly to whom every ad was served, and it knows the source from which the ad originated. Facebook cannot claim that it is the repository of all this data while simultaneously claiming ignorance.

And the notion that this ad spend was a mere $100,000 is absurd. Like any good addict – and everyone at the company is addicted to the FB mystique—it is revealing only as much as it thinks it must in order to silence its critics. I won’t be surprised if the true scope of this whole episode eventually is shown to be in excess of $10 million – and that Facebook actually helped coordinate the advertising. Maybe its people didn’t know whom they were helping, but everything about Facebook is about controlling the environment. None of this happened on the small scale we’re being told, nor without Facebook’s knowledge.

Don’t believe me? That’s OK. Just remember that I wrote this on 9/11. Easy date to remember.