In the days leading up to the 2020 U.S. election, the trump campaign bought some of the most valuable advertising space online, according to a Bloomberg report.Trump's re-election campaign bought YouTube's headlines on election day, November 3, that is, the blank space at the top of the home page of the video website. YouTube headlines usually run all day. The exact duration and financial details of the trump campaign's ad purchases are unclear, but it is estimated that the average daily ad fee for this location could be as high as $1 million.
It's not unprecedented for the campaign to buy YouTube headline ads in a similar way. In 2012, the Obama campaign bought the same ad space before Mitt Romney won the Republican nomination. This isn't the first time the Trump campaign has bought a YouTube headline ad space, which it also made last June to deliver its message in the first Democratic debate.
Despite the precedent,2020 is a very different year for the flow of political money to high-tech companies. With the election coming, big tech platforms are still tweaking their political advertising rules. The uncertainty of the situation is a boon for campaign groups eager to put a lot of cash into technology platforms. Facebook is still under scrutiny over its willingness to accept funding for political ads that contain misleading claims, even if it suffers from a cash shortage in the 2020 campaign. Most notably, the controversial candidacy of billionaire Mike Bloomberg, who spent $33 million on Facebook alone over the last 30 days. Despite controversial political ad policies, controversial Facebook offers surprising transparency to the content running on the platform through its powerful political ad library, a tool that revolved around the controversy surrounding the 2016 U.S. election.
Twitter, on the other hand, chose to ban political ads altogether, and is now trying to mark "synthetic or manipulative media" that "misled users ", a practice that could mark the candidate's non-paying content, including a recent debate video tampered with by the bloomberg team. Twitter is addressing its own policy issues in a relatively public way, accepting trial and error rather than setting rules.
Unlike twitter, YouTube will continue to accept political ads, but last year it mysteriously deleted 300 trump campaign ads without revealing what policies they violated. Google also announced that it would limit the positioning of election ads to a few high-level categories (age, gender and zip code), and the trump campaign called for the decision to "clamp down on political speech.". Despite Google's strong micro positioning, the policy around allowing lies in political advertising is far from Facebook's "one size fits all" approach. Google does not allow "misleading statements about the census process" and "false statements that could seriously undermine participation or trust in elections or democratic processes.".
In recent years, many criticisms around political advertising have focused on the practice of micro positioning advertising to specific users, a large number of personal data collected by modern social platforms and an effective technology that can be traced back to the past. The action will take place in 2020. Trump's campaign successfully exploited this phenomenon in 2016.
YouTube declined to confirm the trump campaign's ad purchases with techcrunch, but said it was "common" to buy YouTube headlines during the election. A YouTube spokesman said: "in the past, campaigns, PACS and other political groups have been putting all kinds of ads before election day. All advertisers follow the same process. As long as the ads conform to our policy, they can buy the headlines. "