Published: Sat, February 15, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Bloomberg memes push Instagram to require sponsorship disclosure

Bloomberg memes push Instagram to require sponsorship disclosure

Donald Trump and his fellow billionaire and would-be presidential challenger, Mike Bloomberg, traded insults on Twitter on Thursday, with Trump dismissing the former NY mayor as a "loser" and Bloomberg describing him as a "barking clown". That would add a "Paid Partnership with Bloomberg 2020" warning to posts and Stories that the campaign paid meme pages and other influencers to post. "We're allowing US-based political candidates to work with creators to run this content".

"Our policy is we do not fact check politicians" speech, and the reason for that is that we believe that in a democracy it is important that people can see for themselves what politicians are saying, ' Zuckerberg said in the hearings.

Bloomberg has already spent between $250 million and $300 million of his own money on television, radio and social media advertisements, according to media reports.

After Michael Bloomberg paid some of Instagram's biggest meme creators to run tongue-in-cheek messages highlighting his campaign, the media workers' group Study Hall found a way to counter the effort.

The company now updates a public list of ads run by politicians, their campaigns and political parties.

The company said on Friday it would require political candidates running sponsored content campaigns to be "authorized", which means they must go through an ID verification process.

Yet now Instagram is changing the rule and not just allowing but requiring political campaigns to use the Branded Content Ads tool when paying influencers to post sponsored content.

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However, the posts seem to have had the opposite effect, as the majority of comments from Instagrammers blasted the meme accounts for getting involved with Bloomberg in the first place.

A post by @fuckjerry, an account with nearly 15 million followers, shows an exchange where Bloomberg is shown asking, "Can you post a meme that lets everyone know I'm the cool candidate?"

Among the Instagram content creators recruited by Bloomberg are fuckjerry, grapejuiceboys and tank.sinatra, each of which has millions of followers. In one of the DMs, for example, Bloomberg says he has learned how to use Photoshop before sharing a photo of Bernie Sanders that has been a wellspring of memes recently.

F (asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk) Jerry's account then replied, "Ooof that will cost like a billion dollars".

With the sponsored posts, Bloomberg's campaign said it was reaching those who might not be normally interested in the day-to-day of politics.

The Bloomberg campaign declined to say how much it paid for the sponsored posts, or if it had more in the works.

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