Monday, November 5, 2012

battlegrounds

SB and I conducted a small experiment last week.  We changed our Facebook profiles to indicate that we lived in heavily contested states.  SB moved back to Denver, Colorado and I moved to Ohio.  I originally chose Cleveland but upon closer inspection we noticed that it was very racially and economically segmented so I instead chose Toledo, Ohio.  Within days we notices that the Facebook ads went from Chinese to English.  A few days later we started raking in the political ads.  In Denver, there were a lot of ads that featured friendly cowboys in pastoral settings.  Upon clicking on one of the cowboys SB was redirected to a survey that asked questions where the only answer choices were conservative and right wing. At the end of the survey he was asked for his email address.

My Ohio ads were more forthcoming about who was sponsoring the ads.  Overall it seemed like the ads were overwhelmingly right leaning.  I would have thought the opposite because previously the left seemed to be more adept in utilizing social media.

Years ago an especially unsavory law office was attempting class action litigation and sponsored internet ads seeking others to join the suit.  It was reported in the media that this company was paying over a hundred dollars for each time a person clicked on their ad.  Anytime SB was on a different computer, he would look for this company's ad and click on it.  I don't know how much these political interest groups are paying Facebook but I was more than happy to click on some of the more extreme statements.  Repeatedly from my phone and laptop.  I wanted those statements to be as costly as possible.

Overall it's been interesting to observe who is using Facebook to reach the voting audiences in the battleground states.

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