Market Overview

Bloomberg Pays People To Promote His Campaign On Their Personal Social Media

Bloomberg Pays People To Promote His Campaign On Their Personal Social Media

Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg is paying people $2,500 per month to promote his campaign among their social media circles, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

What Happened

Bloomberg's campaign team is hiring 500 workers, referred to as "deputy digital organizers," who will work 20 to 30 hours a week, a move that will cost the billionaire millions of dollars.

The workers would be required to send text messages to their phone contacts and make regular social media posts, according to a document detailing the job description reviewed by the Journal.

"The Fight for Equal Rights Has Been One of the Great Fights of Mike's Life," reads one such message, referring to Bloomberg's support for marriage equality, that the workers would be required to share online, the Journal noted.

The workers would organize their efforts using the Outvote app, which also lets them see if the people on their friends' list are registered to vote.

"We are meeting voters everywhere on any platform that they consume their news," a campaign spokeswoman told the Journal. "One of the most effective ways of reaching voters is by activating their friends and network."

Why It Matters

The paid social media outreach is targeted at the California Democratic primary, which is set to take place on Super Tuesday on March 3, as 11 other states also vote the same day. If successful, the move could become a part of Bloomberg's nationwide campaign, according to the Journal.

Bloomberg was a late entrant to the Democratic race for the 2020 presidential nomination in November last year, and outspending the rivals has been a key part of his campaign.

The Journal noted that this is the first instance of a presidential candidate paying supporters to promote them on social media. President Donald Trump's campaign team said that while they have staff dedicated to social media promotion, they don't compensate people for posting on their personal accounts.

The campaign is also in the grey area of whether the social media posts by the workers would qualify as "branded content" or not. Different social media companies, including Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) and Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR), have announced different policies on measuring political ads.

A Facebook spokesperson told the Journal that social media posts by campaign staffers don't need to be tagged as "branded content" on its platform, but posts by "content creators" need to be marked as such. The spokesperson didn't say which category these workers would fit.


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