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Did Facebook “help” the Obama 2012 reelection?

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Did Facebook “help” the Obama 2012 reelection?

The allegation is that Facebook voluntarily provided data to the Obama team.

This is what Hans A. von Spakovsky, a Senior Legal Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, wrote on Tuesday:

According to Carol Davidsen, the former media director for Obama for America, Facebook gave the 2012 Obama campaign direct access to the personal data of Facebook users in violation of its internal rules, making a special exception for the campaign.
The Daily Mail, a British newspaper, reported that Davidsen said on Twitter March 18 that Facebook employees came to the campaign office and “were very candid that they allowed us to do things they wouldn’t have allowed someone else to do because they were on our side.”
The type of data that the Obama campaign was mining from Facebook is a more sophisticated version of the type of data that has long been provided by professional direct mail marketers – something pioneered by Richard Viguerie.
Viguerie, for example, has detailed personal data on “12 million conservative donors and activists” to whom his company sends letters and emails on behalf of his clients. He provides information to campaigns looking for votes and money, and to nonprofit and advocacy organizations raising funds.
Political campaigns must pay for these services. Under a Federal Election Commission regulation, giving a mailing list or something similar to a campaign is considered an “in-kind contribution.”
So if Facebook gave the Obama campaign free access to this type of data when it normally does not do so for other entities – or usually charges for such access – then Facebook would appear to have violated the federal ban on in-kind contributions by a corporation.
And the Obama campaign may have violated the law by accepting such a corporate contribution.

If true, Mark Zuckerberg has big legal or PR problems. No matter what, it will be very difficult when Mark Zuckerberg goes before Congress. He will get questions about 2012 and 2016.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Written by scantojr

March 27, 2018 at 9:00 pm

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