SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Facebook Inc FB.O said on Thursday he would no longer send employees to political campaign offices to offer support ahead of the election, as he did with U.S. President Donald Trump in the 2016 race.
The company and other major online ad sellers, including Alphabet Inc. GOOGL.O Google and Twitter Inc TWTR.N have long offered free dedicated support to strengthen relationships with top advertisers such as presidential campaigns.
Brad Parscale, who was Trump’s head of online advertising in 2016, called the “integration” on Facebook’s site crucial to the candidate’s victory last year. Facebook said Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton was offered identical help, but she accepted a different level than Trump’s.
Google and Twitter did not immediately respond to requests for comment on whether they would also withdraw support.
Facebook said it could offer support to more applicants around the world by focusing on providing support through an online portal rather than in person. He said political organizations would still be able to contact employees to receive basic training on using Facebook or for help with approving ads.
Bloomberg first signaled the new approach.
Facebook, Twitter and Google served as “near-digital consultants” to US election campaigns in 2016, researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Utah found in an article published there. is one year old.
The companies helped campaigns navigate their department’s advertising systems and “actively” shape campaign communication by suggesting what types of messages to send to whom, the researchers said.
Facebook’s involvement in Trump’s campaign caught the attention of U.S. lawmakers after the company discovered that its user data had been misused by political data firm Cambridge Analytica, which consulted for the Trump campaign. .
In written testimony to US lawmakers in June, Facebook said its employees did not spot any abuse “during their interactions with Cambridge Analytica” during the election.
Reporting by Paresh Dave in San Francisco and Bhanu Pratap in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler