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Please keep in mind that currently the proposed rule is that political discussion should happen as though the event occurred in the past, don’t take sides: https://lobsters.obormot.net/s/xb4kt4/what_should_this_site_be_about#c_ieixsv

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    Here’s a question for us to consider:

    What specific aspects of Facebook’s design / implementation / ecosystem / etc. led to this sort of thing being possible?

    Is it the scale of it? That so many people use it? Is it the ad-driven business model? Is it some aspect of the UX? Something to do with the legal / regulatory environment? Something else entirely?

    What is the sine qua non of this sort of endeavor? (A separate question, of course, is: what is “this sort of endeavor”, anyway? Where does it end, and other forms of public-opinion-influencing begin?)

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      (Disclosure: I have never had a Facebook account and never used Facebook, so I can only speculate here based on media reports and other indirect observation.)

      I think it’s a confluence of factors:

      • Massive Userbase - A sufficiently large number of people used Facebook that you can assume whoever you want to reach is probably on there. Which leads into…

      • Pinpoint Targeting - You can determine exactly who you want to reach or influence, then show them and only them your advertisement. Facebook’s systems were set up such that you could essentially appeal to each demographic in an isolated way.

      • Near-Perfect Feedback - You could measure exactly how much influence you got from a particular post or advertisement using Facebook’s extensive rigorous analytics. Other forms of advertising have a lot of loss in them, you can’t really know how many people saw your TV advertisement or how they reacted to it. But with Facebook ads it was possible to get a strong sense of exactly how many people saw your ad and what they thought about it.

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