Facebook is changing its political-advertising policies on Instagram after Mike Bloomberg's campaign paid for memes on the platform
- Facebook said it will allow US political candidates to sponsor branded content on Instagram, as long as they follow certain guidelines that brands currently have to adhere to.
- In a statement to Business Insider, Facebook said "there's a place for branded content in political discussion on our platforms," and that it will allow content as long as the influencers who post the sponsored content disclose it through specific tools on the platform.
- The policy comes after The New York Times reported that Mike Bloomberg's presidential campaign was paying meme accounts to post campaign ads in the form of self-deprecating memes.
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Facebook will allow influencers on Instagram to post sponsored content paid for by political campaigns, as long as they clearly label the posts as branded content, the company said in a statement.
Influencers who post content on Instagram that is sponsored by political campaigns will have to use the platform's "branded content tool" to clearly label the post as sponsored, Facebook told Business Insider.
"After hearing from multiple campaigns, we agree that there's a place for branded content in political discussion on our platforms," a Facebook spokesperson said. "We're allowing US-based political candidates to work with creators to run this content, provided the political candidates are authorized and the creators disclose any paid partnerships through our branded content tools."
The change comes after The New York Times reported that Mike Bloomberg's presidential campaign was paying meme accounts to post political ads poking fun at the billionaire candidate.
The memes did not use an in-app label that posts were a "paid partnership with" the campaign, like the labels used when influencers post content sponsored by companies.
Instead, the memes said in captions that "(Yes this is really sponsored by @mikebloomberg)" or "(paid for by @mikebloomberg)."
Facebook said it is asking those meme accounts to "retroactively use the branded content tag."